Licenses of 18 Rights Lawyers Still not Renewed a Month after Deadline

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Licenses of 18 Rights Lawyers Still not Renewed a Month after Deadline

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders- July 2, 2009) A month after the May 31 deadline for lawyers to pass the annual review necessary for renewal of their licenses, at least eighteen human rights lawyers have not had their licenses renewed.

“The Chinese authorities are using the annual renewal of licenses to retaliate against those lawyers who have defended their clients’ rights, especially in politically ‘sensitive’ cases ”, said Renee Xia, CHRD’s International Director, “This is the second year the authorities have taken advantage of this system to rein in human rights lawyers and to interfere in judicial independence.”

Without a renewal of their licenses by municipal judicial authorities, they are effectively no longer lawyers. Although they can still give legal advice, they can no longer provide the range of services provided by registered lawyers, such as representing their clients in court. Last year, authorities did not renew the license of human rights lawyer Teng Biao (滕彪).

This year, lawyers whose licenses have not been renewed include:

Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Li Heping (李和平), Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵), Li Chunfu (李春富), Wang Yajun (王雅军), and Guo Shaofei (郭少飞) from Beijing’s Gaobo Longhua Law Firm

Cheng Hai (程海), Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Yang Huiwen (杨慧文), Tong Chaoping (童朝平), and Liu Guitao (刘桂桃) from Beijing’s Anhui Law Fim

Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) from Beijing’s Gongxin Law Firm

Wen Haibo (温海波) and Liu Wei (刘巍) from Beijing’s Shunhe Law Firm

Zhang Lihui (张立辉) from Beijing’s Guogang Law Firm

Zhang Chengmao (张成茂) from Beijing’s Anyuan Law Firm

Wei Liangwan (韦良玥) from Heilongjiang Province’s Jiaodian Law Firm

Sun Wenbing (孙文兵) from Liaoning Province’s Xinhe Law Firm

These lawyers handled some of the most important human rights cases in 2008, including those involving the protests in the Tibetan areas, the Sichuan earthquake, activists charged and tried for defending rights, victims of tainted milk, and countless others. Many of them were involved in the failed effort advocating for direct elections of the leadership of the Beijing Lawyers’ Association in 2008. As previously documented by CHRD, the effort by central government officials to silence these outspoken lawyers comes as part of a wider trend of harassment and intimidation, sometimes violent, towards those who seek to defend “sensitive” cases.

For more information, please see:

中国人权律师遭打压,大多仍不能执业 (July 1, 2009),

“Lawyers Face Revocation of their Licenses for Defending Human Rights” (May 25, 2009)

Media contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +852 8191 6937

Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +852 8191 1660

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