China: More than 300 rights lawyers detained in nationwide crackdown, including lawyers who handled cases on corporate abuses; at least 6 face formal charges
[For further information, please refer to: Mass Crackdown on Chinese Lawyers, Defenders and International Reactions: A Brief Chronology, Human Rights in China]
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Author: Agence France-Presse
China has formally charged at least five human rights lawyers and colleagues held in secret for six months after a sweeping crackdown on legal activism, family and associates said…
Zhou Shifeng, the founder of Beijing’s Fengrui law firm and [represented the victim of the contaminated milk powder to sue against the Sanlu Group in 2008], is accused of “state subversion”. The charge carries a maximum sentence of life in jail…Four other people are also said to be accused of “incitement to state subversion”, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years…They are virtually certain to face trial in China’s Communist Party-controlled courts, which have a conviction rate of more than 99.9 percent of criminal cases and where forced confessions are often used as evidence.
However, relatives of Li Heping and Wang Yu, two well-known rights lawyers who have also been missing since July’s crackdown, have yet to receive any news on the fate of their loved-ones…China’s ruling Communist party does not tolerate organised dissent, and has tightened controls on civil society under the leadership of Xi Jinping.
Author: Tom Phillips, Guardian (UK)
Six months after her husband was spirited into secret detention by security forces, the wife of one of China’s top civil rights lawyers has spoken of her grief and despair…Exactly six months on, up to 35 lawyers and activists, including Li [Heping], are still missing or in custody…
“There isn’t any information. We haven’t received any kind of notice or correspondence from the government,” complained Wang Qiaoling, Li’s 44-year-old wife…“So many lawyers have been taken away,” she said. “Conscientious people have been cracked down upon” …“What these lawyers did was help ordinary people address their grievances and escape false charges,” his wife said. “These days in China we always say that if an elderly person falls over nobody goes to help them. What these lawyers do is like trying to help the elderly but the government stops you from doing that. And what’s more, if you do try to help them, you will be beaten. If you try to help them, you will be arrested. It is totally unscrupulous.”
Li was known as one of China’s most courageous rights lawyers, defending a series of politically sensitive clients including environmentalists, dissidents and the blind activist Chen Guangcheng…But…July last year…he was seized at his family home in Beijing…
"As of 19:00 29 October 2015, at least 300 lawyers, law firm staff, human right activists and family members have been questioned, summoned, forbidden to leave the country, held under house arrest, residential surveillance, criminally detained, arrested or missing. "...
Author: Jennifer Duggan, Guardian (UK)
More than 100 human rights lawyers and activists have been detained or questioned by Chinese police and denounced in state media as a “criminal gang” in recent days, raising fears of an unprecedented crackdown by the Chinese authorities.
According to human rights groups, a total of 106 lawyers [later increased to 183], other staff at legal firms and human rights activists have been detained or questioned and at least three law firms have been searched. Six lawyers from the law firm Fengrui, which has handled a number of high-profile human rights cases [including the case on tainted milk poweder in 2008], have been detained. Another 17 lawyers and rights activists are missing…
...Zhou Shifeng, who has also been detained, had represented...[victims of the contaminated milk powder to sue against the Sanlu Group in 2008]...Li Heping...who...helped victims of forced evictions, is among those who have not been heard from since being detained…
There have been previous government crackdowns on human rights activists and lawyers…However, analysts believe this crackdown is unprecedented in terms of its scope. Maya Wang, a researcher with Human Rights Watch, said the detention of activists and lawyers was worrying as it was not in response to “any kind of perceivable threat”…William Nee, from Amnesty International, said Fengrui’s effectiveness in highlighting cases of injustice worried the government. “…I think they are worried because they don’t want to lose their grip on public opinion.” Protests outside courts by activists had unnerved the government, he added…
Author: 储百亮, 纽约时报
中国官方媒体周六称，一家专门代理维权案的律师事务所有至少五名律师已被北京公安机关拘留，他们被指控运作一个犯罪团伙，从事给共产党抹黑、并通过诉讼“扰 乱社会秩序”的活动。 …报道援引警方的话说，“周世锋[曾代理三鹿毒奶粉一案]等人涉嫌其他严重违法犯罪。案件还在进一步侦办中。”报道没有说明这些人被指控犯有哪些具体罪行
…“维权网”(Chinese Human Rights Defenders)称，在同段时间里，有近60名其他律师和活动人士也被拘留、或与外界失去联系，表明他们可能已被拘留[中国维权律师关注组指截至2015年7月15日12:00，至少183名律师/律所人员/人权捍卫者被刑拘/带走/失联/约谈/传唤/短期限制人身自由]。一些被拘留者在经过警察审问后获释。
专 家和权利倡导者说，国家新闻媒体对周世锋及其同事们的猛烈抨击，看起来是意在诋毁所有维权律师和活动人士，将他们描述为威胁社会秩序的贪婪阴谋家… 官方的报道援引警方调查称，在周世锋经手过一系列“敏感案 事件”中，维权律师组织愤愤不平的公民在庭外、网上制造影响。报道称，这些律师的目的是充实自己的腰包，削弱党的权威…
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Author: 儲百亮, 紐約時報
…“維權網”(Chinese Human Rights Defenders)稱，在同段時間裡，有近60名其他律師和活動人士也被拘留、或與外界失去聯繫，表明他們可能已被拘留[ 中國維權律師關注組指截至2015年7月15日12:00，至少183名律師/律所人員/人權捍衛者被刑拘/帶走/失聯/約談/傳喚/短期限制人身自由]。一些被拘留者在經過警察審問後獲釋。
Author: 何平, 自由亞洲電台
Author: 马平, 自由亚洲电台
7月11日晚上7点许，中国维权律师李方平被江西萍乡安源区凤凰派出所警察带走…李方 平是中国反歧视领域最著名的反歧视律师，长期关注乙肝病毒携带者、艾滋病病毒感染者、残障人士及妇女权利；曾代理中国乙肝隐私侵权第一案、中国艾滋就业歧 视第一案、中国基因歧视第一案、中国残障人诉公交无障碍设施第一案、中国性别就业歧视第一案、河北邢台输血感染艾滋病案等多起公益诉讼…李方平并曾发表多篇“公民建议书”，抨击中国法律中广泛存在 的对一亿乙肝病毒携带者的歧视性规定，以及户籍歧视、劳教制度、黑监狱、计划生育强制堕胎等问题，推动立法及政策的改革和完善。李方平代理的公益维权诉 讼，通常是代理弱势群体抗争强势单位，因而触犯了许多强势单位的利益，曾经多次受到打击报复。
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