Rule of law

Actions taken against Chinese human rights lawyers

Who we wrote to

The president of the People’s Republic of China. We co-signed the letter with Lawyers for Lawyers.

What’s the issue

We’re gravely concerned that actions taken by the Chinese authorities against several Chinese human rights lawyers could be construed as harassment. It’s been alleged that this harassment is connected to a small private gathering in Fujian on 13 December 2019 attended by lawyers and human rights defenders.

We fear that these actions are connected and serve to prevent these lawyers from carrying out their professional duties, as well as their legitimate human rights activities.

What we asked for

We urge the authorities to:

  • immediately release Ding Jiaxi and Chang Weiping, drop all charges against them and put an end to all acts of harassment – including judicial harassment – against them
  • put an end to all acts of harassment – including judicial harassment – against Huang Zhiqiang, Lu Tingge, Liu Shuqing and Zhuang Daohe
  • guarantee in all circumstances that all lawyers in China are able to carry out their legitimate professional duties without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions

Timeline

13 December 2019 – a group of lawyers and human rights defenders attended a small private gathering in Fujian

26 December 2019 – Beijing lawyer Ding Jiaxi was detained by Shandong police and charged with “inciting subversion of state power”. The police searched his home and confiscated his computer, phone and other personal belongings without presenting any arrest warrant. Ding’s lawyer was not allowed to meet Ding on grounds of “endangering national security”

29 December 2019 – the police in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, arrested human rights lawyer Huang Zhiqiang and placed him under criminal detention on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”

30 December 2019 – human rights lawyer Lu Siwei was stopped by immigration authorities while travelling to Hong Kong to attend a legal seminar. He was informed that “judicial authorities” has placed an exit ban on him but he was not given further details

31 December 2019 – human rights lawyers Lu Tingge and Liu Shuqing were summoned by police for questioning in Shijiazhuag, Hebei province and Jinan, Shandong province. Border authorities also stopped Zhejiang-based human rights lawyer Zhuang Daohe while travelling to South Korea

1 January 2020 – Lu Tingge and Liu Shuqing were allowed home by police

2 January 2020 – Zhuang Daohe was released after the Hangzhou police took him in for questioning on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”

4 January 2020 – Lu Siwei was allowed home by police and Huang Zhiqing was released on bail

12 January 2020 – human rights lawyer Chang Weiping was arrested on suspicion of “subversion of state power”. Police have told his family that he’s under residential surveillance in an unknown location

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS