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China Human Rights Briefing 2 February  2010



Beijing’sYitong Law Firm Remains Closed after Ten Months

Beijing'sYitong Law Firm (北京忆通律师事务所),forcedto close for six months for "re-organization" by the Beijing HaidianDistrict Bureau of Justice on February 17, 2009, remains closed morethan tenmonths later. The law firm is not allowed to practice again until itobtainspermission from the Bureau. The Bureau has asked the firm to submit anumber ofitems and documents, including its seal and accounting books, but thefirm hasrefused to comply, arguing that the Bureau’s request has no legalbasis. Thefirm is still in negotiation with the Bureau and it is unclear when itwould beallowed to practice again. Yitong was punished for advocating fordirectelections of the leadership of the Beijing Lawyers' Association in2008. Thefirm is also known for taking on tough rights cases, such asrepresentingjailed activists Hu Jia and Chen Guangcheng. (CHRD)[i]

LawyerLi Zhuang’s Appeals Hearing Held in Chongqing

Theappeals hearing for Beijinglawyer Li Zhuang (李庄)tookplace on February 2 in the ChongqingNumber One Intermediate Court. The court didnotannounce its decision at the end of the hearing. Officials barredmembers ofthe media from outside of Chongqingfrom attending the hearing. Reportedly, a number of witnesses appearedin courtto testify. During Li's first trial, which resulted in a conviction for"fabricating evidence and obstructing testimony" for Li, none of thecritical witnesses identified by the defense testified. Li, who wasserving asdefense attorney for alleged mob boss Gong Gangmo (龚刚模),wasaccused of instructing Gong to lie in court that he was tortured duringinterrogation by police officers. He was sentenced to two and a halfyears inprison on January 8, 2010. (CHRD)[ii]


FourMore Petitioners Discovered to Be Detained in Guangxi

OnJanuary 25, CHRD reported that five petitioners fromLiuzhou, Guangxi—Min Jihui (民继惠),Zhong Ruihua (钟瑞华),ZengZhaokuang (曾昭旷),Li Chunfen (李春芬),and Huang Huiyue (黄惠月)—hadbeen sent to one year of Re-education through labor (RTL). CHRD learned on February 2 that four morepetitioners—Gao Guizhen (高桂珍),Tan Xianying (覃显英),JinLi (金丽),and Huang Liuhong (黄柳红)—havesuffered the same fate.  According toreports, the petitioners were detained in Liuzhouand Beijing between December 28, 2009,andJanuary 25, 2010, and were all sent to RTL for "improper petitioning indesignated non-petitioning areas of Beijing."With the exception of Zeng, all of the detained petitioners are women,and arecurrently held in the Guangxi Women's RTL Camp in Nanning, Guangxi.  Zengis detained in Liuzhou. Additionally, Zhong is 63 years old, while Tan and Huang areboth60.  According to Article 11 of the 2002Guidelines for the Handling of Re-education through Labor Cases byPublicSecurity Organs, no individual who is over the age of 60 or seriouslyill maybe sent to an RTL camp. (CHRD)[iii]

Editors:David Smalls and Lin Sang

Newsupdates from CHRD:

ReininginCivil Society: TheChinese government’s use of lawsand regulations to persecute freedom of association 

CHRDYearbook 2007-2008:

[i]“When does Suspension for Re-organization end for Beijing Yitong LawFirm? (北京忆通律师事务所“停业整顿”何时了),” February 2, 2010,

[ii]"Appeal Heard for Li Zhuang; Non-Local Media Barred from Attending" (李庄案二审开庭,非本地媒体被拒绝旁听),February 2, 2010,

[iii]"Number of Liuzhou,Guangxi Petitioners Sent to RTL Now Nine" (广西柳州被劳教访民增至九人),February 2, 2010,

Source: CHRD

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