China: Safeguarding the Right to Practice: A Statement by 58 Chinese Lawyers

February 19, 2018

On July 9, 2015, in the mass arrest of Chinese human rights lawyers and defenders known as the “709 Crackdown,” the security authorities used “residential surveillance at a designated place” (指定居所监视居住), a disguised form of secret detention, to detain lawyers. They denied family the ability to hire their own counsel, conducted secret trials, and violated the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” by forcing prisoners to plead guilt in video recordings for state media before trial. This campaign-style (运动式) suppression has engendered panic and backlash domestically, and led to widespread censure from the international community.

The lessons of the 709 mass arrests are deep. The rising prominence of human rights lawyers was, in the first place, a wonderful opportunity for the government to reflect on the value of lawyers for the rule of law and their role in improving social governance. But now, lawyers are arrested or disbarred on the slightest pretext, and their rights to practice and have a job are increasingly infringed upon.

On January 15, 2018, Yu Wensheng (余文生), defense counsel for 709 lawyer Wang Quanzhang (王全璋), was disbarred from practicing law by the Beijing Municipal Justice Bureau. On the morning of January 19, Yu, while taking his child to school, was criminally detained by public security agents from Shijingshan district, Beijing, on charges of “obstructing an officer in discharge of duties.” On January 27, Yu Wensheng was placed under “residential surveillance at a designated place” by the Xuzhou municipal public security bureau in Jiangsu province, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.”

Safeguarding the Right to Practice: A Statement by 58 Chinese Lawyers

https://chinachange.org/tag/709-crackdown/

https://www.ucanews.com/news/china-called-to-release-rights-lawyers-jailed-since-2015/81558

https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/02/16/chinas-multi-pronged-crackdown-dissent-took-aim-citizen-journalists-rights-defence-websites/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/asia-and-the-pacific/china/report-china/

http://www.uianet.org/en/content/uia-appeal-chinese-lawyer-wang-quanzhang

https://www.nchrd.org/2018/02/2017hrd-report/

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