Excerpted from AFP:
New York-based Human Rights in China said the firm may have been punished because some of its lawyers had signed an appeal in August 2008 calling for direct elections in the Beijing Lawyers Association, a government administered body.
"The six-month shutdown sends a chilling warning to all lawyers that the authorities will not tolerate any perceived challenges to their power," HRIC director Sharon Hom said in a statement.
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For more information on this issue:
- Human Rights in China, Beijing Law Firm Yitong is Shut Down for Six Months; Staff Lawyers Ordered to Turn in Licenses, March 18, 2009
- Human Rights in China, Beijing Lawyers Association Violates Its Own Rule in Removing Independent Candidates from Election of Representatives, March 6, 2009
- Human Rights in China, Beijing Law Firm Faces Six-Month Shutdown for Attorneys' Support of Direct Bar Election February 19, 2009
- Human Rights in China, Lawyers Are Dismissed by Firms for Supporting Beijing Lawyers Association Direct Election, Law Firms are Threatened October 31, 2008
- Beijing Lawyers Association Direct Election website (CH)
- Appeal by 35 Lawyers August 26, 2008 (CH)
- "Stern Statement" by Beijing Bar Association September 5, 2008 (CH)