Authorities within the central Chinese province of Henan have struck off a human rights lawyer after he tried to characterize one of many 12 Hong Kong protesters detained by the China Coast Guard as they tried to flee to the democratic island of Taiwan.
Ren Quanniu acquired a discover from the Henan provincial bureau of judicial affairs on Tuesday informing him that his license to follow had been revoked on the grounds that he “used a cult to undermine the law” in November 2018.
The letter mentioned Ren had “seriously damaged the image of the legal profession” after he defended a member of the banned Falun Gong religious motion, which has been designated an “evil cult” by the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Ren mentioned he did not consider the explanation said within the letter was the principle issue behind the choice, nevertheless.
“One factor was my involvement in the Hong Kong 12 case, which was much deeper [than in the other case],” he advised RFA on Tuesday. “The other was [my defense of citizen journalist] Zhang Zhan.”
“I gave a lot of media interviews about those two cases, so I think they are more likely to have been the main reasons,” Ren mentioned.
Authorities within the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan have already suspended the license of fellow rights legal professional Lu Siwei, citing his public feedback on the case of the 12 Hong Kong activists detained at sea in August 2020.
Judicial authorities in Sichuan’s provincial capital Chengdu moved on Jan. 4 to strike Lu off, alleging that he made “inappropriate remarks” in public in regards to the case, thereby “breaking Chinese law and professional guidelines for lawyers.”
None of the attorneys employed by the households of the 12 detainees was allowed to see their shoppers, who had legal professionals appointed for them by the native authorities as an alternative.
Ren additionally defended Zhang Zhan, who was sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment in December 2020 for posting stories from Wuhan throughout the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic within the metropolis.
She was discovered responsible of “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a cost regularly used to focus on critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), on the premise that she had printed “false information” in regards to the pandemic on social media websites.
Ren had given media interviews detailing her bodily situation as she engaged in a starvation strike in protest at her remedy.
Ren, who’s now successfully barred from working as a lawyer in China, mentioned he has no regrets, nevertheless.
“I think that rights lawyers in mainland China should stand with the people of Hong Kong, even if it means that they wind up losing their licenses,” Ren mentioned. “Hong Kong people have always been at the forefront of Chinese people’s hopes for their own society.”
“So many paid a heavy price and were arrested, and the [authorities’] persecution [of activists] has been pretty serious,” he mentioned. “I had no hesitation [in taking the case] and felt we should do our best to help them.”
Hong Kong rights lawyer Albert Ho, who heads the Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, mentioned the suspension of Lu and Ren’s licenses are the most recent in a protracted litany of actions taken by the CCP towards human rights legal professionals in China, beginning with a nationwide police operation in July 2015.
“If lawyers have no protection for their own rights, then how can they defend their clients’ rights?” Ho mentioned. “How does one defend disadvantaged groups who have no legal knowledge at all?”
“Things are moving towards a state of lawlessness [in China], slowly inching back towards the Cultural Revolution,” he mentioned, in a reference to an period of political violence and social turmoil from 1966 to 1976 underneath late supreme chief Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four.
Reported by Lu Xi for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.