January 7, 2019
Authorities in China’s southern Guangdong province are expected to soon revoke the license of a prominent rights lawyer, apparently for defending his client. Authorities held a public hearing Saturday to decide if such an administrative punishment would be imposed on lawyer Liu Zhengqing, according to other rights lawyers.
A final decision is expected a week from the hearing.
The ruling against Liu for allegedly “endangering state security” and “malicious defamation” while defending his clients will be the first of its kind.
The department of justice in Guangdong didn’t specify which comments in Liu’s earlier defense statements were at issue when he defended an ethnic Uighur minority in late 2016 and a Falun Gong practitioner in 2017.
Media reports, however, said what riled authorities the most was an earlier defense, in which he said: “the Chinese Communist Party was having a dictator’s doomsday panic, so much so that its lackeys were enforcing a political suppression through judicial means.”
Once disbarred, Liu will be the 26th rights lawyers in China who has suffered such administrative suppression in the past year or so, rights groups say.