March 4, 2016
(Protestors against the imprisonment by the Chinese Communist Party of political dissidents, thinkers, human rights activists, lawyers, artists, democracy advocates and petitioners demonstrate in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay district on the occasion of the 64th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong China, 01 October 2013. EFE/File)
China Friday ignored criticism over an official operation against human rights lawyers last year, as a result of which 19 lawyers still remain under arrest, and said it will manage the cases according to law.
“Lawyers should be, first and foremost, role models of observing the law (…) and they will be held accountable if they violate the law,” said the spokesperson of China’s National People’s Congress, or CNC, Fu Ying, when asked about these cases at the customary press conference, prior to the start of the CNC on Saturday.
Fu’s reaction comes eight months after a government crackdown on human rights lawyers led to the arrest of more than 200 lawyers or law firm employees in different parts of the country.
Of those, 19 remain in custody, without being allowed to meet their families or access to legal counsel.