Authorities in the eastern province of Shandong are preparing to revoke the license of a rights lawyer who was hired to defend fellow rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, as the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) continues a nationwide clampdown on the legal profession.
Xi Xiangdong, who had been hired to represent Wang after his detention as part of a crackdown on the profession starting in July 2015, was notified by the Shandong provincial department of justice on Thursday that it will likely revoke his license to practise.
Wang told RFA that the authorities were likely retaliating after Xi spoke out against the mistreatment of his client Chi Shengang, an entrepreneur accused of involvement in organized crime.
“Lawyers like Xi Xiangdong tend to stick to the law when it comes to how lawyers should act, so they are likely anger some people, and suffer retaliation for that,” Wang said.
He said the authorities are likely taking issue with Xi’s attempts to do his job properly.
“If lawyers [like Xi] try to argue their case in court using reason, they see it as a failure to obey the judge,” Wang said. “This gives them the excuse they need to retaliate against the lawyer.”