February 15, 2018
The Chinese government should immediately release human rights lawyers who have been detained or imprisoned on baseless subversion charges, Human Rights Watch said today. Authorities should also end the practice of revoking or suspending licenses of lawyers and law firms on political grounds.
In February 2018, authorities stripped human rights lawyer Sui Muqing of his license for allegedly violating “courtroom etiquette,” and canceled the registration of the Wutian Law Firm for its refusal to participate in a politicized review process.
“Not only is the Chinese government still holding some rights lawyers and activists rounded up in the July 2015 crackdown, it’s disbarring others as a crude way to intimidate the group,” said Sophie Richardson, China director. “This endless persecution of the legal profession exposes the absurdity of China’s claim to uphold the ‘rule of law.’”
Since August 2017, authorities have revoked or suspended the licenses to practice of several human rights lawyers. They have also canceled the registration of one law firm. One lawyer has been detained on subversion charges: