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Archive for the ‘Liu Wei’ Category

2 Chinese human rights defenders subjected to ‘absurd’ disbarment hearing

Posted by Author on April 22, 2010


Amnesty International, 22 April 2010 –

Amnesty International
has condemned as ‘absurd’ a legal hearing aiming to revoke the legal licences of two Chinese human rights lawyers who had defended Falun Gong practitioners.

Evidence presented at the Beijing Municipal Judicial Bureau hearing against lawyers Liu Wei and Tang Jitian included accusations that they had behaved illegally by making arguments and disputing opinions in Luzhou Court in April 2009.

“The notion that lawyers can be punished for presenting evidence and arguing their case in court is absurd,” said Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Director.  “The Chinese Ministry of Justice must send a signal that it will protect lawyers from political intimidation and uphold their right and duty to defend their clients appropriately, in line with Chinese law and international legal standards.”

The Beijing Municipal Judicial Bureau ended the hearing on Thursday without issuing a decision on revoking the lawyers’ licences, or officially testifying that the lawyers had “violated law”, which is seen as small victory for the legal process.

Liu Wei, one of the lawyers being threatened with having her license revoked, told Amnesty International “it may take a month to get a result.  But after the legal debate they may realized that they are the ones who have violated the law, not us.”

“If the result is judged by our defence today and according to the law, we will surely win.”

The two lawyers still stand accused of “disrupting courtroom order and interfering with the regular litigation process” while defending members of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Some 500 supporters of the lawyers protested outside the hearing venue, and were met by nearly 200 police officers.  Around 20 protesters were detained, most of whom were released by the end of the day.

Government authorities used intimidation to prevent two lawyers scheduled to represent Liu Wei and Tang Jitian from attending the hearing, and other prominent lawyers supporting the pair were put under surveillance or “soft detention” to prevent them attending.

“Escalating harassment of Chinese lawyers is seriously undermining the rule of law, and risks further lowering public trust in the Chinese legal system,” said Sam Zarifi.

Government authorities in China continue to harass and disrupt the work of lawyers taking politically sensitive cases, in particular cases involving Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans and Uighurs.

In March 2010, Chang Boyang, a lawyer representing Tibetan Film maker, Dhondup Wangcheng, was threatened with the closing of his law firm if he did not drop the case, mirroring the treatment of Dhondup Wangcheng’s previous lawyer Li Dunyong.  Dhondup Wangcheng was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for “inciting separatism” for making a documentary, Leaving Fear Behind, which features a series of interviews with Tibetans questioning the Chinese authorities’ promises of greater freedom in the run-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Amnesty International

Posted in Beijing, China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Liu Wei, News, People, Politics, Social, Tang Jitian, World | Comments Off on 2 Chinese human rights defenders subjected to ‘absurd’ disbarment hearing

China Judicial Authorities Target Human Rights Lawyers, Eroding Rule of Law

Posted by Author on April 22, 2010


Human Rights in China, Apr. 22, 2010-

Beijing lawyers
Tang Jitian (唐吉田) and Liu Wei (刘巍), who are facing revocation of their lawyer’s licenses on the charge of “disrupting courtroom order and interfering with the regular litigation process,” told Human Rights in China (HRIC)  that the “evidence” presented by officials at today’s administrative hearing at the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice “did not include anything whatsoever that could substantiate the charge.” The hearing ended without a decision.

Lawyer Li Subin (李苏滨), who was retained by Liu to represent her at the hearing, told HRIC that he was prevented by police from going. Legal scholar Teng Biao (滕彪)  – one of the three representatives who were allowed in the hearing (the other two were Professor Zhang Shuyi (张树义) and lawyer Yang Jinzhu (杨金柱) ) – told HRIC that protesters in front of the Bureau’s building were dragged away into vehicles, and officials from the U.S., Canadian, and German embassies were barred from attending the hearing.

The current action against Tang and Liu arose from their representation at the second instance trial in April 2009, in Luzhou, Sichuan Province, of a Falun Gong practitioner, Yang Ming, who was charged with “using an evil cult to destroy implementation of the law” (利用邪教破坏法律实施罪). The lawyers told HRIC that one piece of evidence produced by the Bureau at the hearing today (which the lawyers were allowed only to read but not photocopy) was a document the Luzhou Bureau of Justice transmitted to the Sichuan Provincial Bureau of Justice recommending disciplinary action against the lawyers. The document stated that the lawyers disrupted court procedure of the 2009 trial by disobeying the presiding judge’s instruction prohibiting them from presenting a description of Falun Gong [that contravened the official designation of it being an “evil cult”] and defended its legitimacy.

(At the end of the 2009 Luzhou trial, the court rejected Yang Ming’s appeal, even after the presiding judge permitted violations of the court’s rules by court officials and unidentified personnel. Yang is now serving a five-year sentence in a prison in Wumaping Prison, in Leshan, Sichuan Province, and reportedly was subjected to very harsh treatment this past winter.)

Liu told HRIC it is clear from the reasoning of the Luzhou Bureau of Justice that the 2009 trial “was completely controlled by the ‘6-10’ Office, and lacked judicial independence.” The 6-10 Office – established on June 10, 1999, by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Politburo member Luo Gan – was created as an extrajudicial security apparatus of the central government to crack down on the Falun Gong and other banned religious groups. Its methods include surveillance and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners and psychological “transformation through reeducation” to convert followers.

Tang Jitian and Liu Wei have been actively involved in various rights defense work, including speaking out for those persecuted for their beliefs and defending the rights of victims of illegal land requisition and home demolition, of those discriminated against for having HIV/AIDS and hepatitis B, and parents of the victims of melamine-tainted milk powder.

In 2008-2009, Tang and Liu were some of the principal participants pushing for direct elections in the Beijing Lawyers Association. After the March 2008 riots in Tibet, Liu Wei signed up to provide legal aid to Tibetans who were arrested. They were among the initial signers of Charter 08 in June 2009.

“After subjecting the lawyers and their client to kangaroo court proceedings in 2009, the authorities are now targeting Tang and Liu – two lawyers trying to fulfill their responsibilities to their client and to the legal profession,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of HRIC. “This travesty of justice condoned by authorities charged with upholding the rule of law sends a clear warning to any lawyer who takes on ‘sensitive’ cases and further erodes the credibility of the legal system in China. However, without effective access to justice, the ultimate price will be paid by Chinese citizens.”

Human Rights in China

Posted in Beijing, China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Liu Wei, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Speech, Tang Jitian, World | Comments Off on China Judicial Authorities Target Human Rights Lawyers, Eroding Rule of Law

2 Chinese Lawyers Are Facing Revoke of Licenses for Defending Falun Gong

Posted by Author on April 22, 2010


By EDWARD WONG, New York Times, April 21, 2010 –

BEIJING — Two Chinese lawyers who represented a follower of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement could have their licenses permanently revoked in an administrative hearing on Thursday. The action against the lawyers is the latest move in an increasingly harsh government crackdown on lawyers who take on human rights cases.

The lawyers, Tang Jitian and Liu Wei, said in a written statement that they were accused by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice of having “disrupted the order of the court and interfered with the regular litigation process.” The charge against the lawyers is based on accusations from the Luzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court of Sichuan Province, where the lawyers defended Yang Ming, the Falun Gong practitioner, nearly a year ago.

Lawyers in China are usually barred from practicing for life only if they are convicted of a crime. If Mr. Tang and Ms. Liu have their licenses permanently revoked, then this would be a rare occasion, perhaps the first of its kind, when a disruption-of-court charge has led to such harsh punishment, said Eva Pils, a law professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The two lawyers said in their written statement that the justice bureau’s charge “is obviously factually unsound and lacks legal basis.” The lawyers said it was in fact the judge in the court in Sichuan who was a disruptive element during the trial on April 27, 2009. The judge, Li Xudong, interrupted statements made by the defense lawyers or by Mr. Yang, the lawyers said, “so that the defense was extremely difficult to carry out.” The judge also allowed people to film the lawyers in the courtroom, even though this is usually prohibited.

“As an organ with public power, the Luzhou Municipal Intermediate People’s Court should examine its own unlawful acts,” the lawyers said.

The Chinese government has been relentless about quashing any defense of Falun Gong, which is considered one of the most sensitive topics in China, along with independence for Tibet and Taiwan and the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989. The movement was banned as an “evil cult” in 1999 after followers staged a silent protest at the Chinese leadership’s compound in Beijing. Since then, practitioners have been subjected to imprisonment and torture.

The government has been clamping down on rights lawyers over the last year. In July 2009, the Beijing authorities, citing tax issues, shut down the office of Gongmeng, also known as the Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research organization. …… (more details from New York Times)

Posted in Beijing, China, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Liu Wei, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Tang Jitian, World | Comments Off on 2 Chinese Lawyers Are Facing Revoke of Licenses for Defending Falun Gong

 
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