Tag Archives: China

China: Police in China’s Hubei Target Outspoken Wife of ‘Disappeared’ Human Rights Lawyer

October 11, 2017

Li Wenzu (R), wife of detained rights attorney Wang Quanzhang, says state security police officers prevented her and their son from leaving their  home in an interview with RFA on Aug. 11, 2016.

Authorities in the central Chinese province of Hubei on Wednesday questioned the wife of ‘disappeared’ human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, amid an ongoing operation targeting rights lawyers and their families nationwide.

Several unidentified officials arrived at the parental home of Wang’s wife Li Wenzu in Hubei’s Shijingshan city, demanding to see her registration papers, she told RFA.

“Three people came this morning saying that they were employees of the residential compound, and that we had to register,” Li said. “Then they took away my household registration book.”

“They wanted to see who was living in my home now, and they started secretly filming from the moment they got inside the door,” she said.

“A few minutes later, four police officers came along, without any paperwork at all or showing me any ID, nor would they tell me their police numbers,” she said.

“They said someone had called the police and they were acting on the basis of a tip-off, but they left after I’d argued with them for a while,” Li said.

Li said she has been under close surveillance by police since she arrived back in her hometown in Hubei on Oct. 1.

Wang Quangzhang has been held at an unknown location without trial or access to a family-appointed lawyer or family visits for more than two years after being detained in a nationwide July 2015 police operation targeting rights lawyers and associated activists.

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/police-in-chinas-hubei-target-outspoken-wife-of-disappeared-human-rights-lawyer-10112017095449.html

https://www.humanrightstulip.nl/candidates-and-voting/wang-quanzhang

https://www.reuters.com/article/china-congress-controls/timeline-under-xi-five-years-of-tighter-controls-across-chinese-society-idUSL4N1ML1QR

http://www.elmundo.es/internacional/2017/10/12/59de1e6e46163f23478b460b.html (ESPANOL)

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China/Pakistan: Human Rights Lawyers Wang Quanzhang & Mirza Shahzad Akbar are finalists for Human Rights Award

October 6, 2017

We are proud to announce that the three FINALISTS for the Human Rights Tulip Award 2017 are Mirza from Pakistan, Wang from China and Graciela from Mexico! 🌷🏆

Thank you to everyone who voted! The WINNER will be announced next week – stay tuned for more. 🙌

#HumanRightsTulip

(Justice and Peace Netherlands Facebook)

https://www.humanrightstulip.nl/

https://www.humanrightstulip.nl/latest/news/2017/09/07/the-final-3-candidates-for-the-human-rights-tulip-2017

http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2017/08/detained-rights-lawyer-wang-quanzhang-shortlisted-tulip-rights-award/

http://nation.com.pk/national/31-Aug-2017/tulip-award

https://www.ft.com/content/cb2c8578-adb4-11e7-aab9-abaa44b1e130

https://en.justiceandpeace.nl/

China/Hong Kong/USA: Human Rights in China Worsen as Beijing Extends Reach to Hong Kong: Report

October 6, 2017

US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) (standing, center-R), chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, tells journalists that the commission will nominate jailed Hong Kong activists and the 2014 'Umbrella Movement' for the Nobel Peace Prize, in Washington, Oct. 5, 2017.

Freedoms of speech and religion, the rule of law, and individual rights and freedoms have worsened during the past year under the ruling Chinese Communist Party, an annual congressional-executive report has found, calling on the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to do more to halt the decline in basic freedoms.

“As President Trump heads to China next month, he must press China to uphold international human rights norms, respect the rule of law, and adhere to universal standards,” Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) chairman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) told journalists on Thursday as the report was published.

The report found that the Chinese Communist Party continues to “use the law as an instrument of repression to expand control over Chinese society,” and that “the criminalization of China’s human rights lawyers and advocates is ongoing, including credible reports of torture in detention.”

Meanwhile, in the former British colony of Hong Kong, “the long-term viability of the ‘one country, two systems’ model … is increasingly uncertain given central government interference,” it said.

Wang Yanfang, wife of jailed rights lawyer Tang Jingling, called on Trump to raise the issue of political prisoners on his forthcoming visit to China.

“I hope that Trump will raise the issue of Tang Jingling and many other prisoners of conscience,” Wang said. “They are in a dire situation.”

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/human-rights-in-china-worsen-as-beijing-extends-reach-to-hong-kong-report-10062017121023.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/commission-seeks-to-shine-spotlight-on-deteriorating-human-rights-in-china_2329275.html

China: Moon Festival Brings Scant Cheer to China’s Dissidents, Lawyers

October 4, 2017

Hunger striker Hendrick Lui is shown camped outside Taiwan's Legislative Yuan in an undated photo.

As half of China’s population takes to the road, rails, and air for a week of fun, feasting, and moon-gazing on the annual Golden Week holiday, a social activist from Hong Kong has begun a hunger strike outside Taiwan’s parliament in protest at the mainland’s ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Social worker Hendick Lui, 35, was camped on Wednesday outside the Legislative Yuan in Taiwan’s capital Taipei, and is refusing food and drink in a bid to warn the democratic island’s 23 million inhabitants not to have any truck with “reunification” proposals from Beijing.

Richard Choi of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China said the Mid-Autumn Festival should be a time for family reunion in traditional Chinese culture.

“Dissidents and rights lawyers in mainland China are subjected to unreasonable detention, and to being jailed on trumped-up charges,” Choi said. “They are separated from their loved ones for long periods of time, while dissidents in exile overseas are unable to return home.”

Friends of disappeared human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng said he has now been missing for weeks, after disappearing from house arrest at a cave home in the northern province of Shanxi.

“I call on the the international community and human rights groups and friends at home and overseas to pay more attention to the disappearance of Gao Zhisheng,” fellow activist Ai Ming told RFA. “He has now been missing for more than 50 days … with no legal procedures whatsoever. This is illegal detention.”

Mid-Autumn Festival, traditionally a harvest celebration, starts on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon appears at its roundest and largest. It is marked in China on Wednesday.

http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/festival-10042017111740.html

https://www.theepochtimes.com/a-human-rights-lawyer-lifts-the-communist-partys-spell_2322054.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gao_Zhisheng

China: Zhu Shengwu – the first lawyer having his licence revoked because he speaks online

October 3, 2017

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Zhu Shengwu, practising lawyer in Shandong has recently been accused of making online speeches that “endangered state security”.  With the decision to penalise made by the Judicial Department of the Shandong province, Zhu has become the first ever lawyer to be forcefully stripped of his practising licence by administrative measure, not as a result of any professional misconduct but of exercising his civil right of expression.

Zhu’s case came after Zhenjiang lawyer Wu Youshui’s penalty by the local lawyers association of “a 9-month suspension of membership”, also because of his online speeches.  The Lawyers Law in China stipulates that all practising lawyers have to be members of the lawyers association.
Lawyer Zhu began his practice in January 2012. He has served in several law firms. He has been the director of Shandong Xinchang Law Firm in 2017 and he started taking up human rights cases in the same year.  Apart from his professional duties, lawyer Zhu has also been posting his comments on the social media in China on issues of social and political concerns.
On 16 September 2017, the Shandong Judicial Department issued a first notification of administrative penalty to lawyer Zhu Shengwu to revoke his licence of practice.  Zhu was accused of having posted on Sina microblog “speeches that negate the constitutionally established political system, the fundamental principles and that endanger state security”.  He was also allegedly having “seriously damaged the professional image of lawyers by refusing to correct himself but continued with his acts of law-violation despite the many interviews the judicial administration organ had had with him.”
On 10 September, lawyer Zhu requested the Judicial Department to hold a public hearing on the matter, which subsequently took place on 21 September. The authorities however confirmed that Zhu “had used the internet to incite discontent against the Party and the government” and should hence be “heavily punished”.  The decision to revoke the licence was upheld in an official notice dated 22 September 2017.

The roughly 10 online posts were issued between April and June this year (see attached). They either criticised or ridiculed the CCP, the government and or the leaders; and were mainly comments on government performances or expressions of one’s aspirations for freedoms and democracy.  It does not look that they have constructed any objective or concrete threat on state security.
It is worth noting that although the two Measures, that on the Administration of Law Firms and that on the Lawyers Practice,  effective since November 2916, provide the judicial administration organs with the power to supervise and instruct law firms and lawyers, the prescribed power is confined to the behaviours and performances in the professional realm.
The issue has raised strong queries that the revocation of Zhu’s licence by the Shandong Judicial Department lacked any legal or factual grounds. It could amount to power abuses and violation of civil rights on the part of the Shandong authorities.

When the authorities tackled issues of lawyers’ speeches or expressions in the past, they were more prone to using the criminal procedures. But in Zhu’s case, the judicial administration organs have gone beyond the power that the law prescribed them and proceeded directly to revoke a lawyer’s licence.
In this way, the complicated criminal procedure could be sidestepped, and the judicial administration organs might then extend their monitoring on lawyers’ conducts relatively easier and with lower cost.

There is another aspect of concern in Zhu’s case. Lawyer Zhu was born in the 80s and he is a new member to the community of the new lawyers.  He only started taking up rights defence cases in 2017 and early in the year, he pleaded non-guilty for Shandong petitioner Wang Jiangfeng who was accused of using abusive language against the old and new leaders in China, calling them “Mao thugs” and “Xi Baozi”.  In April, Wang was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles”.  The case is pending for appeal.  [1]
To apply the extreme administrative penalty but without justifiable legal grounds, it is worried that the move of the Shandong Judicial Department is also a sign of warning those who are new to join the rights lawyers’ community
Over the recent weeks and months, at least 6 law firms across the country have been searched by taskforce formed by multi-government departments, 3 well-known lawyers are forced to change firms and at least lawyers including lawyer Zhu Shengwu have had their rights to practice either suspended or revoked for their online expression.
In the wake of the 709 Crackdown, the situation of rights lawyers in China will still warrant further international attention as they are being made target of another round of squelching.
Lawyer Zhu has appointed Guangdong lawyer Sui Muqing to take legal action for his case. [2]

 

For Enquiries:

Lawyer Zhu Shengwu (mainland China):  +86 186 6893 6828 (please whatsapp first)

Lawyer Sui Muqing (mainland China): +86 137 1112 4956 (please whatsapp first)

Kit Chan, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (Hong Kong): +852 9735 1611

[1] “Zai Weixin shag chen lingdaoren xibaozi, Shandong wangmin Wang Jiangfeng zao panxing 2nian” Hong Kong 01, 15/04/2017https://www.hk01.com/sns/article/84627  (visited 29/09/ 2017)

[2]  According to the Law on Administrative Review (2009), lawyer Zhu may apply for administrative review at the Shandong Provincial government within 60 days after receiving the notice on the decision to penalise. He may also apply in accordance to the Administrative Litigation Law for administrative litigation in the court within 6 months.

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新聞稿 (供即時發放)

祝聖武:首位因言論而被吊照的律師

山東執業律師祝聖武被指網上言論危害國家安全,拒絕改正,日前被山東省司法廳提出行政處罰,成為首位因行使公民言論自由權利,而當局未有指控涉及任何專業行為失當情況下,被以行政手段,強行褫奪其專業資格作為懲治的律師。

這是繼浙江吳有水律師因微博言論被當地律師協會「暫停律協會員資格9個月」後;再有中國律師因為個人言論而遭受嚴厲的行政處分。

祝聖武於2012年1月開始執業,曾於多間律師事務所工作,2017年為山東信常律師事務所主任,同年開始代理維權個案。除專業職務外,祝律師亦不時於微信及微博發表的帖文,針砭時政。

2017年9月6日,山東省司法廳向祝聖武律師發出行政處罰通知,指其在新浪微博發表「否定憲法確立的根本政治制度、基本原則和危害國家安全的言論」,並「在司法行政機關多次約談後,拒不改正並繼續實施違法行為,嚴重損害了律師行業形象」,決定吊銷其執業證。

祝律師於9月10日要求司法廳就此召開公開聽證。有關聽證會已於9 月21日進行,山東省司法廳最終認定祝律師「利用網路挑動對黨及政府的不滿」,有必要「從重處罰」,決定維持原判。

縱觀祝律師約十個網上帖文,均發表於今年四到六月期間(見附件);雖然涉及對中國共產黨、政府及領導人的批評或調侃,但內容都以月旦施政及表達對民主自由追求為主,屬於中國憲法保障的言論自由範圍之內,未見得會對國家安全構成任何客觀或是實際的威脅。

儘管在2016年11月生效的《律師事務所管理辦法》和《律師執業管理辦法》中均有規範律師言論的條文,亦明言司法行政機關可依照《律師法》和上述管理辦法的規定對律師及律師事務所進行監督指導,但條文授予司法行政機關的權力,均限於監管執業行為和範疇。

是次事件令人強烈質疑,山東司法廳吊銷祝律師的執照,不但缺乏法理及事實基礎,亦有濫權和侵害公民憲法權利之嫌。

在祝案中,當局避開過往在針對律師言論時慣用的刑訴手段,改由司法行政機關以超越法律所賦予權限的方式,直接吊銷律師執照。

這種做法繞過繁複的刑事司法程序,不但讓司法行政機關得以擴大對律師日常行為的管控,而且管控的成本也相對低和省事。

事件另一值得注意的地方是,80後的祝聖武律師,是人權律師社群的新進成員,今年才開始辦理維權案件;於年初曾代理山東招遠訪民王江峰案,去年被指在微信朋友圈進行政治謾罵,曾以「毛賊」和「習包子」等評論中國新舊領導人,今年四月被判「尋釁滋事」罪成,判囚兩年,案件上訴中。[1]

山東司法廳在未有合法理據下對祝律施以行政極刑,也難免令人質疑當局想要向新進的人權律師起示警作用。

近月發生多宗涉及不同省份的至少3位知名人權律師被迫轉所,6間律師事務所被大規模搜查的事件,以至包括祝聖武律師在內的2位因言論而被暫停或取消執業權利的案件,正好反映了中國維權律師社群,在經歷709抓捕後,很可能在面對政府的另一波打壓懲治,後續發展,需要國際注意。

祝律師現正委託廣東隋牧青律師就上述處罰提出法律行動。[2]

 

查詢:

祝聖武 律師 (中國大陸):+86 186 6893 6828 (請先whatsapp)

隋牧青 律師 (中國大陸):+86 137 1112 4956 (請先whatsapp)

陳潔文-中國維權律師關注組 (香港): +852 9735 1611

 

[1] 《在微信上稱領導人「習包子」 山東網民王江峰遭判刑2年》香港01, 15/04/2017 https://www.hk01.com/sns/article/84627  (瀏覽29/09/ 2017)

[2]  祝律師可根據《行政覆議法》(2009)於收到處罰決定書起60日內向司法部或山東省人民市政府申請行政覆議;或根據《行政訴訟法》於六個月內向法院提出行政訴訟。

 

Little-Known Chinese Lawyer Disbarred for Defending Freedom of Speech

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-wews170922.htm (FRANCAIS)

Hong Kong/China/AI: Freedom of expression under attack as scores of peaceful protesters face “chilling” prosecutions

September 26, 2017

Image result for amnesty international

The Hong Kong government must drop prosecutions aimed at having a chilling effect on freedom of expression in the city, Amnesty International said ahead of the third anniversary of the 2014 pro-democracy Umbrella Movement.

Three years on from the start of the unprecedented 79-day protest in late 2014, scores of protesters, who were arrested for their involvement in the largely peaceful protests, remain in legal limbo, uncertain if they will face charges.

“Three years since the Umbrella Movement protests, a cloud of uncertainty hangs over Hong Kong. The government’s stance is having a chilling effect on peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

“The government must drop prosecutions which have the effect of deterring people from participating in peaceful protests, particularly on sensitive issues such as Hong Kong’s autonomy and democracy. The authorities’ continued obfuscation has left protesters in legal limbo and is detrimental to human rights in Hong Kong.”

Chilling effect

According to government figures, 955 people were arrested during the Umbrella Movement. After the protests, the government further arrested 48 people, mostly key individuals involved in the pro-democracy demonstrations. They were arrested for a range of offences including “unlawful assembly” and ”unauthorized assembly”.

Many of them were released after their arrest, but police notified them that criminal investigations were still ongoing and they would be re-arrested and charged, should there be sufficient evidence to prosecute them.

Among the 48 prominent activists who were arrested after the Umbrella Movement protests were Associate Professor Benny Tai, Rev. Chu Yiu-ming and Chan Kin-man, arrested for “unlawful assembly” in 2015. In March this year, the charges were changed to “public nuisance”, ambiguous charges with a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2017/09/hong-kong-freedom-of-expression-attack-peaceful-protesters-face-chilling-prosecutions/

https://journalducameroun.com/en/hong-kong-activists-fear-more-jailings-after-wong-imprisoned-3/

https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2017/09/hong-kong-freedom-of-expression-attack-peaceful-protesters-face-chilling-prosecutions/ (ESPANOL)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Tai

China: Wang Quanzhang: the last ‘709’ lawyer left in China’s legal limbo

September 24, 2017

Image result for wang quanzhang

Many of the dozens of people who stood outside a courthouse in Jingjiang, eastern China’s Jiangsu province, four years ago had never met the man they were demanding to be released.

But Wang Quanzhang’s reputation as an advocate for some of the country’s most marginalised groups united more than 50 people from across China in support of his cause.

Wang was ordered to serve 10 days in detention over a procedural dispute while defending a member of the outlawed Falun Gong religious sect but was released after three days amid public pressure.

“Many of the lawyers and civilians who were there to protest had not met Wang but they lined up at the entrance of the courthouse because it was a matter of public interest,” Shandong-based rights lawyer Li Jinxing said.

Four years later, Wang is behind bars again but this time the 41-year-old has languished for much longer – he is the last lawyer swept up in a 2015 crackdown to still be in custody.

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2111062/wang-quanzhang-last-709-lawyer-left-chinas-legal-limbo

https://www.nchrd.org/2016/01/wang-quanzhang-%E7%8E%8B%E5%85%A8%E7%92%8B/