Radio Free China

Human Rights and Religious Freedom News

Prominent Beijing Rights Defense Lawyers Fired From Law Firm

Posted by radiofreechina on November 5, 2008

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent, ASSIST News Service

BEIJING, CHINA (ANS) Several attorneys from a Chinese law firm have been dismissed because they called for open elections to their professional organization.

Attorney Li Subin was among those dismissed

China Aid Association (CAA) reports that on October 30, Christian Attorney Li Subin was told he was fired from the Beijing Yitong Law Firm because he and 35 other Beijing lawyers signed an open letter in August calling for direct election of the leaders of the Beijing Lawyers Association [equivalent to Bar Association]. About five to seven other lawyers have also been dismissed or forced to leave their respected law firms for the same reason.

CAA says that on October 27 and 28, seven officials from the Bureau of Justice of Haidian District of Beijing visited Li Subin’s office. These officials took photos and questioned staff about cases they had handled in the past.

In an e-mail news release to ANS, CAA explains the director of the firm who is also a Christian, Attorney Li Jingsong, was pressured by officials who indicated his law firm’s inspection might not be passed by the Bureau of Justice.

“This would mean the survival of the law firm would be in danger if he did not fire the ‘troublemakers’ in his firm,” CAA said.

CAA says that along with Li Subin, four other lawyers who signed the August letter were also purged from Yitong Law Firm. They are Mr. Cheng Hai, Zhang Jianguo, Wen Haibo and Yang Huiwen.

CAA stated: “The open letter sent in August by lawyers from various Beijing law firms called for direct election of the officers of the Beijing Lawyers Association. This letter is in agreement with the Lawyer’s Law, which states that the association is an autonomous social organization where representatives are chosen by election. However, on September 5, 2008, the Beijing Lawyers Association sent a ‘Stern Statement,’ calling the open letter ‘illegal,’ and that it was essentially a ‘total repudiation of China’s current lawyers administrative system, judicial system, and even political system.'”

CAA reported that despite the increased pressure on lawyers who have signed the letter, according to the organization Human Rights in China, the number of lawyers in support of the letter has grown to 82.

Bob Fu, President of ChinaAid, stated, “We request prayer for Christian lawyer Li Subin who has been campaigning for religious freedom and ask the Chinese government to correct the wrong path for the true spirit of rule of law.”

Letters of concern may be addressed to:

Ms. Wu Aiying, Minister of Justice
10 Nandajie, Chaoyangmen,
Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020,
People’s Republic of China

Mr. Wang Lixian, Director of the General Office Phone Number of News Release Office: 86-10-65206706

Read the Human Rights in China’s report and recommended actions on this case click here: http://chinaaid.org/2008/11/01/human-rights-in-china-reports-lawyers-are-dismissed-by-firms-for-supporting-beijing-lawyers-association-direct-election-law-firms-are-threatene/  

Find out how you can support Li Subin and other attorneys who defend the persecuted and advance religious freedom in China by clicking here: http://chinaaid.org/take-action/legal-action/


To request permission to reproduce ChinaAid photos and/or information, please contact Katherine@ChinaAid.org .

Phone: 267-205-5210; e-mail: info@ChinaAid.org

For more information please visit:
www.ChinaAid.org
www.MonitorChina.org

ChinaAid Media Contact: Katherine Cason (267) 210-8278 or Katherine@ChinaAid.org
Washington, D.C. Contact: Jenny McCloy (202) 213-0506 or Jenny@ChinaAid.org
Websites: www.ChinaAid.org  and www.MonitorChina.org; Fax: (432) 686-8355

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