Skip to content Skip to navigation

Chinese Rights Defense Lawyers Under All-out Attack by the Authorities

June 4, 2009

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that in recent days, the Chinese authorities have used various procedural obstacles, harassment, and even kidnapping to launch an all-out attack on rights defense lawyers. As of June 1, at least 17 Chinese rights defense lawyers did not receive their “annual licensing inspection and registration” (年度考核登记) approval from the Lawyers Association in their localities, a requisite for lawyers to continue to practice law. Among the law firms that employ these lawyers, at least three firms were also denied the approval, which directly affects the more than 30 lawyers employed by these firms. As a result, these rights defense lawyers and law firms have lost their right to continue to practice, and the cases they are currently representing will not be able to proceed. Additionally, this action may deter even more lawyers and law firms from working in an area of law that attracts few lawyers and law firms to begin with.

In addition, sources tell HRIC that before dawn on June 4, Tang Jitian (唐吉田) from Beijing, one of the 17 lawyers who did not pass the annual inspection, was forcibly taken away by five policemen from the Haidian Branch Office of the Beijing Public Security Bureau. His whereabouts are currently unknown. Before being taken away, on June 3, he was illegally held for more than ten hours by the police from the Sijiqing substation of the Haidian Branch Office. Another lawyer, Lan Zhixue兰志学), was also held for several hours.

Lawyers Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Li Heping (李和平), and Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵), who did not pass the annual inspection, and at least three other rights defense lawyers, Li Fangping (李方平), Lan Zhixue, and Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), have been put under surveillance in recent days and required to take police cars when they go out. Since June 3, lawyer Jiang has been confined to his home by the police and prevented from going to work. Although having passed this year’s annual inspection, lawyer Zhang Kai (张凯) has been asked by his law firm to leave their employ without explanation. This new development indicates a systematic effort by the authorities to suppress rights defense lawyers.

The 17 rights defense lawyers include 14 from Beijing and one each from Heilongjiang, Guangxi, and Liaoning Provinces. The three Beijing law firms that did not pass their annual inspection are Anhui (北京市安汇律师事务所), Gongxin (北京市共信律师事务所), and Shunhe (北京市舜和律师事务所). The firms were told through official and unofficial channels that they did not pass their annual inspection because they represent mass cases “without going through the proper procedures”; their lawyers supported direct elections of representatives of the Lawyers Association; their lawyers advocated for lowering the annual lawyer’s registration fee; and they represented Falun Gong and other politically-sensitive cases. Most of the 17 lawyers have represented cases involving Falun Gong, HIV/AIDS, peasants who have lost land, the tainted milk powder scandal, Reeducation-Through-Labor, house churches, forced evictions, or have advocated direct elections for the Beijing Lawyers Association.

Many affected lawyers believe that this is a suppression tactic employed by the government authorities to prohibit lawyers and law firms from taking on politically-sensitive cases. Lawyer Tang Jitian said, “This is a display of meticulously planned suppression of lawyers who enforce and uphold the law and are dedicated to public interests.” Jiang Tianyong said, “This is a comprehensive and prepared operation, the goal of which is to render defense lawyers unable to practice.” Lawyer Yang Huiwen (杨惠文) also said, “We cannot accept this suspension of our professional activities that does not follow the regulations.”

The 17 lawyers who did not pass the annual inspection are Jiang Tianyong, Li Heping, Li Xiongbing, Li Chunfu (李春富), and Wang Yajun (王雅军) of Globe-Law (北京高博隆华律师事务所) in Beijing; Cheng Hai (程海), Tang Jitian, and Yang Huiwen of Anhui Law Firm in Beijing; Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) and Li Dunyong (李敦勇) of Gongxin Law Firm in Beijing; Wen Haibo (温海波) and Liu Wei (刘巍) of Shunhe Law Firm in Beijing; Zhang Lihui (张立辉) of Beijing G&G (Giant and Goal) Law Firm (北京市国纲华辰律师事务所) in Beijing; Li Jinglin (李静林) of Jiurui Law Firm (北京市久瑞律师事务所) in Beijing; Wei Liangyue (韦良玥) of Jiaodian Law Firm (黑龙江焦点律师所) in Heilongjiang; Yang Zaixin (杨在新) of Baijuming Law Firm (广西百举鸣律师事务所) in Guangxi; Sun Wenbing (孙文冰) of Xinhe Law Firm (辽宁欣合律师事务所) in Liaoning.

HRIC calls on the Chinese authorities to immediately stop the systematic suppression of rights defense lawyers. Rights defense lawyers fight for the public interest and safeguard the lawful rights and interests of groups facing discrimination, and are the core strength in the construction of rule of law. “The authorities’ suppression of rights defense lawyers using various excuses and procedural obstacles, harassment, and intimidation is a great step backward on the path toward rule of law,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of Human Rights in China. “This suppression will inevitably lead to grave consequences for society, creating greater disadvantages for already persecuted groups and greater social instability.” HRIC urges the Chinese government to take conscientious steps to rectify these measures, which are counter to the goal of building a “harmonious society.”

The following are two statements issued recently by a group of rights defense lawyers regarding their plight. One was issued on June 8, 2009, after HRIC’s June 4 press release; the other is the original statement, issued in late May 2009. Both have been translated into English by HRIC.

Chinese Rights Defense Lawyers under All-out Attack in 2009

Over 20 Lawyers Are Unable to Practice

June 8, 2009
 

After the June Fourth Incident in 1989, the reform of the Chinese political system came to a complete halt. Corruption among the privileged and the occurrence of social injustice were exacerbated, and incidents of group discontent became recurrent. These conditions in the country gradually gave rise to a group of rights defense lawyers who took upon themselves the responsibility of upholding the rule of law, safeguarding human rights, defending the legal rights of citizens, and protecting the impartiality of justice. The emergence and growth of the rights defense lawyers’ community are considered a major achievement in China’s 30-year-long rebuilding of its legal system, and are regarded as an indicator of progress in China’s establishment of the rule of law. But these lawyers who adhere to the rule of law and defend rights according to law have been viewed as a challenge by China’s procuratorial and judicial system and by its special interest groups. As the twentieth anniversary of June Fourth approached, the authorities began to step up their unprecedented all-out attack on the rights defense lawyers. The process of building a country ruled by law has suffered a serious setback, causing widespread concern through all circles of society.

Current Situation: A large number of lawyers have encountered administrative “rectification” and infringement by force

February 4, 2009: Prominent rights defense lawyer Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who was on probation, was taken by police from his ancestral home in Shaanxi Province and disappeared for a long period of time.

February 28, 2009: Wei Liangyue (韦良玥), a lawyer from Heilongjiang Province who has defended the accused in many religious freedom cases, was arrested by Harbin police for no reason at all.

March 17, 2009: Beijing’s Yitong Law Firm (北京忆通律师事务所) was penalized with a six-month shutdown and “reorganization.” Prominent rights defense lawyers Li Jingsong (李劲松) and Li Subin (李苏滨) were unable to continue to work as lawyers or proxies.

April 10, 2009: While representing peasants who had lost their land, Yang Zaixin (杨在新), a lawyer from Guangxi Province, was cruelly beaten by several thugs connected with the government’s illegal seizure of land.

April 12, 2009: Cheng Hai (程海), a lawyer from Beijing, was illegally obstructed and savagely beaten by government workers from the Jinyang Street Office and Stability Preservation Office while working in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

April 16, 2009: Liu Yao (刘尧), a lawyer from Guangdong Province who was representing peasants who had lost their land, was sentenced to one year of imprisonment with a two-year reprieve.

May 13, 2009: While Beijing lawyers Zhang Kai (张凯) and Li Chunfu (李春富) worked in Jiangjin District in Chongqing, approximately 20 policemen illegally broke into the house of their client, handcuffed and then savagely beat the two lawyers. At the police station, Zhang Kai’s handcuffs were shackled to an overhead iron bar within the cell. The police forced an illegal inspection of his files and took away key pieces of evidence.

These [cases] indicate that on the eve of June Fourth, the actions of China’s procuratorial and judicial system to “rectify” and suppress rights defense lawyers became pervasive. Not only that, what is even more serious is that China’s procuratorial and judicial system is currently taking advantage of the so-called “Annual Evaluation and Registration” to directly strip numerous rights defense lawyers of their right to practice.

Crisis: Numerous rights defense lawyers face immediate temporary suspension or closing of their practice

In 2009, repressive action against rights defense lawyers has already openly begun. Numerous rights defense lawyers, including Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), Li Heping (李和平), Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵), Li Chunfu (李春富), and Wang Yajun (王雅军) of Globe-Law in Beijing (北京高博隆华律师事务所); Cheng Hai (程海), Tang Jitian (唐吉田) , Yang Huiwen (杨慧文), and Dong Chaoping (童朝平) of Anhui Law Firm in Beijing (北京安汇律师事务所; the entire firm did not pass annual evaluation); Xie Yanyi (谢燕益) and Li Dunyong (李敦勇) of Gongxin Law Firm in Beijing (北京共信律师事务所; the entire firm did not pass annual evaluation); Wen Haibo (温海波) and Liu Wei (刘巍) of Shunhe Law Firm in Beijing (北京舜和律师事务所; the entire firm did not pass annual evaluation); Zhang Lihui (张立辉) of Beijing G&G (Giant and Goal) Law Firm (北京市国纲律师事务所); Li Jinglin (李静林) of Jiurui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市久瑞律师事务所); Zhang Chengmao (张成茂) of Anyuan Law Firm in Beijing (北京安园律师事务所); Wei Rujiu (魏汝久) of Shengting Law Firm in Beijing (北京盛廷律师实务所; passed evaluation on June 8); Zhang XX (张××) of Beijing XX Law Firm (北京××律师事务所; the entire firm did not pass annual evaluation); Wei Liangyue (韦良玥) of Jiaodian Law Firm in Heilongjiang (黑龙江焦点律师所); Yang Zaixin (杨在新) of Baijuming Law Firm in Guangxi (广西百举鸣律师事务所); Sun Wenbing (孙文冰) of Xinhe Law Firm in Liaoning (辽宁欣合律师事务所), have had their professional qualifications revoked or temporarily suspended under the pretext of the “Annual Evaluation and Registration.” The law firms these lawyers work for have, one after another, received orders and warnings from the Ministry of Justice and the Lawyers Association. Some law firms have been asked to immediately rescind employment contracts of lawyers involved with rights defense, others have been asked to give the verdict of “failure to pass annual evaluation” in the name of the law firm to the lawyers involved with rights defense, so as to comply with the repressive actions of legal license annulment and temporary suspension of professional qualifications implemented by the procuratorial and judicial system.

Beijing’s Municipal Lawyers’ “Annual Evaluation and Registration” system stipulates that every lawyer in the city must receive annual professional evaluation from the Beijing Lawyers Association and pay 2,500 yuan in membership fees collected for the purpose of member registration. Lawyers who pass the evaluation will have their lawyer’s licenses stamped with an “evaluation pass” seal by the lawyers association and can continue their practice. Lawyers who do not pass the evaluation must return their lawyer’s licenses to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, have the license annulled, and stop their practice.

The deadline for lawyers to pass the “Annual Evaluation and Registration” was May 31, and it has now passed. A large number of rights defense lawyers, including the lawyers mentioned above, will have their lawyer’s licenses annulled by judicial authorities under the pretext that they “failed the annual evaluation,” or their membership registration will be deferred so that they cannot continue to practice. The Lawyers Association, which was intended to uphold the rights and interests of lawyers, will once again have become the accomplice of the judicial administrative institutions in suppressing rights defense lawyers. What until now had been covert practice is now being carried out openly.

Attachment:

Rights defense lawyer names, law firms, telephone numbers, and recent major cases or issues:

Jiang Tianyong (江天勇)
Beijing Globe-Law (北京市高博隆华律师事务所)
Mobile Number: 130-0101-0856
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Tibetan district Buronglang Living Buddha case, Labuleng Temple Jiume Lama Case, earthquake zone He Gongchun case, lawsuit against Dazhong Daily Newspaper Group for Hepatitis B discrimination, HIV carrier rights defense case, Shanxi “black brick kiln” case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Li Heping (李和平)
Beijing Globe-Law (北京市高博隆华律师事务所)
Mobile Number: 139-1057-6638
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Guo Quan’s subversion of state power case, Heilongjiang three-shift servants case, Zhejiang house church case, Yang Jia case, reeducation-through-labor case, Falun Gong case.

Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵)
Beijing Globe-Law (北京市高博隆华律师事务所)
Mobile Number: 137-0122-1801
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Yang Chunlin case, Yuan Xianchen case, Qi Chonghuai case, Sanlu tainted milk case, lawsuit against Beijing subway, lawsuit against Beijing Railroad Public Security Bureau, HIV carrier rights defense case, ethnic minority rights and interests defense, Shandong “black brick kiln” case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Li Chunfu (李春富)
Beijing Globe-Law (北京市高博隆华律师事务所)
Mobile Number: 133-0110-3197
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, Li Shufeng reeducation-through-labor case, wrongful death while in custody case, improper death while in reeducation-through-labor facility case, migrant worker rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Wang Yajun (王雅军)
Beijing Globe-Law (北京市高博隆华律师事务所)
Mobile number: 158-1102-8798
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, reeducation-through-labor case, improper death while in reeducation-through-labor facility case, migrant worker rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Cheng Hai (程海)
Anhui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市安汇律师事务所)
Mobile number: 136-0106-2745
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Lawsuit against Beijing Public Security Bureau over residence registration problem, lawsuit against Beijing Public Security Bureau over temporary residence permit problem, Yang Jia case, lawsuit against railway department, reeducation-through-labor case, main organizer and initiator of Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Tang Jitian (唐吉田)
Anhui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市安汇律师事务所)
Mobile number: 131-6130-2848
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, reeducation-through-labor case, main initiator and organizer of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, rights defense case of peasants who have lost their land, Falun Gong case.

Yang Huiwen (杨慧文)
Anhui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市安汇律师事务所)
Mobile: 136-8110-8292
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, defense of rights and interests of ethnic minorities, major participant of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election.

Dong Chaoping (童朝平)
Anhui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市安汇律师事务所)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Major participant of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, rights defense case of peasants who have lost their land.

Xie Yanyi (谢燕益)
Gongxin Law Firm in Beijing (北京市共信律师事务所)
Mobile number: 131-2111-7524
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, rights defense case of peasants who have lost their land, rights defense case of victims of forced demolition, reeducation-through-labor case, case against illegal detention, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Li Dunyong (李敦勇)
Gongxin Law Firm in Beijing (北京市共信律师事务所)
Mobile number: 136-9122-3900
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
House church case, rights defense case of peasants who have lost their land, rights defense case for victims of forced demolition, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Wen Haibo (温海波)
Shunhe Law Firm in Beijing (北京市舜和律师事务所)
Mobile number: 138-1177-8770
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Qingdao Cuobuling forced demolition case, Qingdao Hexi forced demolition case, Sanlu tainted milk case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Liu Wei (刘巍)
Shunhe Law Firm in Beijing (北京市舜和律师事务所)
Mobile number: 159-0137-1049
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, Ni Yulan obstruction of public affairs case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Zhang Lihui (张立辉)
Beijing G&G (Giant & Goal) Law Firm (北京市国纲律师事务所)
Mobile number: 139-1169-6311
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Heilongjiang three-shift servants case, main organizer of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Li Jinglin (李静林)
Jiurui Law Firm in Beijing (北京市久瑞律师事务所)
Mobile number: 136-9328-3418
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, Qingdao Shengyuan tainted milk case, HIV carrier rights defense case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Zhang Chengmao (张成茂)
Anyuan Law Firm in Beijing (北京市安园律师事务所)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, rights defense case of victims of forced demolition, Falun Gong case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election.

Wei Rujiu (魏汝久)
Beijing Shengting Law Firm (北京盛廷律师事务所)
Mobile number: 139-0109-8010 (passes evaluation on June 8, 2009.)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Environmental case, religious freedom case, reeducation-through-labor case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Zhang XX (张XX)
Beijing XX Law Firm (北京XX律师事务所)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Dissident defense case, religious freedom case, rights defense case of peasants who lost their land, reeducation-through-labor case.

Zhang Jianguo (张建国)
Taifu Law Firm in Beijing (北京泰福律师事务所)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Falun Gong case, Yang Chunlin case, etc.

Wei Liangyue (韦良玥)
Jiaodian Law Firm in Heilongjiang (黑龙江省焦点律师事务所)
Mobile number: 130-3000-9999
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Owners’ rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Yang Zaixin (杨在新)
Baijuming Law Firm in Guangxi (广西百举鸣律师事务所)
Mobile number: 135-1789-8996
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Rights defense case of peasants who lost their land, rights defense case of victims of family planning by force, Falun Gong case.

Sun Wenbing (孙文冰)
Xinhe Law Firm in Liaoning (辽宁省欣合律师事务所)
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Falun Gong case.

On the eve of June Fourth, Chinese rights defense lawyers face full-scale repression. Nearly 20 lawyers will be unable to practice.

May 2009

At the time of the twentieth anniversary of June Fourth, the rigid and backward political system has led to social conflicts of unprecedented intensity, and incidents of human rights violations are happening all the time. As the Chinese government bears down heavy-handedly to rein in petitioning citizens, free intellectuals, rights defenders, and religious figures, it has once again in 2009 intensified its full-scale repression of rights defense lawyers to an unprecedented degree. The process of building a country ruled by law has suffered a serious setback, causing widespread concern through all circles of society.

Background: Rights defense lawyers are increasingly active in a wide range of human rights issues

After the June Fourth Incident in 1989, the reform of the Chinese political system came to a complete halt. Corruption among the privileged and the occurrence of social injustice were exacerbated, and incidents of group discontent became recurrent. This kind of social environment in China gradually gave rise to a group of rights defense lawyers who took upon themselves the responsibility of upholding the rule of law, safeguarding human rights, defending the legal rights of citizens, and protecting the impartiality of justice. These lawyers have been widely active in the defense of freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of movement, and racial equality; in the defense of the rights and interests of human rights workers, journalists, ethnic minorities, parents from the earthquake disaster area, and owners facing house demolition and land confiscation; in the defense of equal rights when it comes to environmental protection, food safety, disease prevention and medical care; and in safeguarding the civil rights of information, participation, and oversight, while offering voluntary legal service in these areas. The emergence and growth of the rights defense lawyers’ community are considered a major achievement in China’s 30-year-long rebuilding of its legal system, and is regarded as an indicator of progress in China’s establishment of rule of law. But these lawyers who adhere to the rule of law and defend rights according to law have been viewed as a challenge by China’s procuratorial and judicial system and by its special interest groups. As the twentieth anniversary of June Fourth approaches, the authorities are stepping up their unprecedented full-scale repression of rights defense lawyers.

Current Situation: A large number of lawyers have encountered administrative “rectification” and infringement by force

February 4, 2009: Prominent rights defense lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was on probation, was taken by police from his ancestral home in Shaanxi Province and disappeared for a long period of time.

February 28, 2009: Wei Liangwan, a lawyer from Heilongjiang Province who has defended the accused in many religious freedom cases, was arrested by Harbin police for no reason at all.

March 17, 2009: Beijing’s Yitong Law Firm was penalized with a six-month shutdown and “reorganization.” Prominent rights defense lawyers Li Jingsong and Li Subin were unable to continue to work as lawyers or proxies.

April 10, 2009: While representing farmers who had lost their land, Yang Zaixin, a lawyer from Guangxi Province, was cruelly beaten by several thugs connected with the government’s illegal seizure of land.

April 12, 2009: Cheng Hai, a lawyer from Beijing, was illegally obstructed and savagely beaten by government workers from the Jinyang Street Office and Stability Preservation Office while working in Chengdu, Sichuan Province.

April 16, 2009: Liu Yao, a lawyer from Guangdong Province who was representing peasants who had lost their land, was sentenced to one year of imprisonment with a two-year reprieve.

May 13, 2009: While Beijing lawyers Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu worked in Jiangjin District in Chongqing, approximately 20 policemen illegally broke into the house of their client, handcuffed and then savagely beat the two lawyers. At the police station, Zhang Kai’s handcuffs were shackled to an overhead iron bar within the cell. The police forced an illegal inspection of his files and took away key pieces of evidence.

These [cases] indicate that on the eve of June Fourth, the actions of China’s procuratorial and judicial system to “rectify” and suppress rights defense lawyers have become pervasive. Not only that, what is even more serious is that China’s procuratorial and judicial system is currently taking advantage of the so-called “Annual Inspection and Registration” to directly strip numerous rights defense lawyers of their right to practice.

Crisis: Numerous rights defense lawyers face immediate temporary suspension or closing of their practice

After judicial authorities adopted various measures of repression, such as annulment of licenses, registration deferral, and suspension of practice, against Teng Biao, Jiang Tianyong, and other rights defense lawyers in 2008 under the pretext of “Annual Inspection and Registration,” a new round of repressive action against rights defense lawyers has already openly begun in 2009. Numerous rights defense lawyers, including Jiang Tianyong, Li Heping, Li Xiongbing, Li Chunfu, Wang Yajun, Cheng Hai, Tang Jitian, Yang Huiwen, Xie Yanyi, Li Dunyong, Wen Haibo, Liu Wei, Zhang Lihui, Peng Jian, Li Jinglin, Lan Zhixue, Zhang Kai, Liu Xiaoyuan, Wei Liangyue (Heilongjiang), and Yang Zaixin (Guangxi), will have their professional qualifications revoked or temporarily suspended under the pretext of the “Annual Inspection and Registration.”

The law firms of these lawyers, such as Beijing’s Globe-Law, Anhui, Gongxin, Shunhe, G&G, Jiurui, Jiafa, Yijia, and Qijian; Heilongjiang’s Jiaodian; Guangxi’s Baijuming; and numerous other law firms have been receiving instructions and warnings, one after another, from the Ministry of Judicial Administration and from the Lawyers Association. Some law firms have been asked to immediately rescind employment contracts of lawyers involved with rights defense, others have been asked to give the verdict of “failure to pass annual inspection” in the name of the law firm to the lawyers involved with rights defense, so as to comply with the repressive actions of legal license annulment and temporary suspension of professional qualifications implemented by the procuratorial and judicial system.

The system of Annual Inspection and Registration of lawyers is an institution for the supervision of the legal profession with particularly Chinese characteristics. Lawyers who have legally obtained professional qualifications must pay between 500 and 5,000 yuan in inspection and registration fees before May of each year. They must also acquire the “Annual Inspection and Registration” stamp on their lawyer’s license from the judicial administration office in their province in order to be able to continue with their practice. This system has become the most effective method for the procuratorial and judicial system and the government-operated lawyers associations to amass wealth and suppress the rights defense lawyers. The practices of the Shaanxi lawyer Zhang Jiankang, Guangdong lawyers Tang Jingling and Guo Yan, and Shandong lawyer Li Jianqiang (Liu Lu) were all temporarily suspended or closed during the annual inspection and registration process because they participated in rights defense cases. Because this system contradicts several laws, such as the Administrative Licensing Law, the Law on Administrative Penalties, and the Lawyers Law, and because numerous lawyers in China have criticized it as the forced collection of fees and extortion of lawyers, on July 18, 2008, the Chinese Ministry of Justice issued Order 112 to formally repeal the inspection and registration system that year.

However, after the lawyer’s yearly inspection and registration system was abolished, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice and judicial authorities of several other cities and provinces separately launched lawyer’s “Annual Inspection and Registration” systems of their own at the beginning of 2009, enabling the “Annual Inspection and Registration” system to continue in disguise.

Beijing’s Municipal Lawyers’ “Annual Inspection and Registration” system stipulates that every lawyer in the city must receive annual professional inspection from the Beijing Lawyers Association and pay 2,500 yuan in membership fees collected for the purpose of member registration. Lawyers who pass the inspection will have their lawyer’s licenses stamped with an “inspection pass” seal by the lawyers association and can continue their practice. Lawyers who do not pass the inspection must return their lawyer’s licenses to the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice, have the license annulled, and stop their practice.

May 31 is the deadline for lawyers to pass the “Annual Inspection and Registration.” After May 31, a large number of rights defense lawyers, including the lawyers mentioned above, will have their lawyer’s licenses annulled by judicial authorities under the pretext that they “failed the annual inspection,” or their membership registration will be deferred so that they cannot continue to practice. The Beijing Lawyers Association, which was intended to uphold the rights and interests of lawyers, will once again become the accomplice of the judicial administrative institutions in suppressing rights defense lawyers. What until now had been covert practice is now being carried out openly.

Attached:

  1. Rights defense lawyer names, law firms, telephone numbers, and recent major cases or issues:

Jiang Tianyong
Beijing Globe-Law
Mobile Number: 130-0101-0856
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Tibetan district Buronglang Living Buddha case, Labuleng Temple Jiume Lama Case, earthquake zone He Gongchun case, lawsuit against Dazhong Daily Newspaper Group for Hepatitis B discrimination, HIV carrier rights defense case, Shanxi “black brick kiln” case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Li Heping
Beijing Globe-Law
Mobile Number: 139-1057-6638
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Guo Quan’s subversion of state power case, Heilongjiang three-shift servants case, Zhejiang house church case, Yang Jia case, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, Falun Gong case.

Li Xiongbing
Beijing Globe-Law
Mobile Number: 137-0122-1801
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Yang Chunlin case, Yuan Xianchen case, Qi Chonghuai case, Sanlu tainted milk case, lawsuit against Beijing subway, lawsuit against Beijing Railroad Public Security Bureau, HIV carrier rights defense case, ethnic minority rights and interests defense, Shandong “black brick kiln” case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Li Chunfu
Beijing Globe-Law
Mobile Number: 133-0110-3197
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, Li Shufeng Reeducation-Through-Labor case, wrongful death while in custody case, improper death while in Reeducation-Through-Labor facility case, migrant worker rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Wang Yajun
Beijing Globe-Law
Mobile number: 158-1102-8798
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken: HIV carrier rights defense case, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, improper death while in Reeducation-Through-Labor facility case, migrant worker rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Cheng Hai
Beijing Anhui Law Firm
Mobile number: 136-0106-2745
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Lawsuit against Beijing Public Security Bureau over residence registration problem, lawsuit against Beijing Public Security Bureau over temporary residence permit problem, Yang Jia case, lawsuit against railway department, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, main organizer and initiator of Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident,”

Tang Jitian
Beijing Anhui Law Firm
Mobile number: 131-6130-2848
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, main initiator and organizer of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, rights defense case for farmers who have lost their land, Falun Gong case.

Yang Huiwen
Beijing Anhui Law Firm
Mobile: 136-8110-8292
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, defense of rights and interests of ethnic minorities, major participant of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election.

Xie Yanyi
Beijing Gongxin Law Firm
Mobile number: 131-2111-7524
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, rights defense case of farmers who have lost their land, rights defense case of victims of forced demolition, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, case against illegal detention, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Li Dunyong
Beijing Gongxin Law Firm
Mobile number: 136-9122-3900
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
House church case, rights defense case for farmers who have lost their land, rights defense case for victims of forced demolition, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident,”

Wen Haibo
Beijing Shunhe Law Firm
Mobile number: 138-1177-8770
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Qingdao Cuobuling forced demolition case, Qingdao Hexi forced demolition case, Sanlu tainted milk case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Liu Wei
Beijing Shunhe Law Firm
Mobile number: 159-0137-1049
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, Ni Yulan obstruction of public affairs case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Zhang Lihui
Beijing G&G (Giant & Goal) Law Firm
Mobile number: 139-1169-6311
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Heilongjiang three-shift servants case, main organizer of the Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Li Shunzhang
Beijing G&G (Giant & Goal) Law Firm
Mobile number: 135-0137-4841
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Peng Jian
Beijing G&G (Giant & Goal) Law Firm
Mobile number: 139-0132-2991
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election.

Li Jinglin
Beijing Jiurui Law Firm
Mobile number: 136-9328-3418
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, Qingdao Shengyuan tainted milk case, HIV carrier rights defense case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case, signer of the declaration of support for Tibet after the “3.14 Incident.”

Lan Zhixue
Beijing Jiafa Law Firm
Mobile number: 130-0125-1152
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
HIV carrier rights defense case, rights defense case for farmers who lost land, case of improper death while in custody of Neihuang Detention Center, Reeducation-Through-Labor case, Beijing Lawyers Association direct election, Falun Gong case.

Zhang Kai
Beijing Yijia Law Firm
Mobile number: 139-1190-0261
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Sanlu tainted milk case, case of railway passenger Cao Shihe who died after being tied up, house church case, case of Wan Jianguo’s death during interrogation under torture by the Nanchang Public Security Bureau, Falun Gong case.

Liu Xiaoyuan
Beijing Qijian Law Firm
Mobile number: 131-2166-2783
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Yang Jia case, case of improper death in detention center, unjust death penalty case.

Li Jingsong
Beijing Yitong Law Firm
Mobile number: 136-9112-4988
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Chen Guangcheng case, Hu Jia case, Yang Jia case, owners’ rights defense case.

Wei Liangyue
Heilongjiang Province Jiaodian Law Firm
Mobile number: 130-3000-9999
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Owners’ rights defense case, Falun Gong case.

Yang Zaixin
Guangxi Baijuming Law Firm
Mobile number: 135-1789-8996
Major issues and cases participated in or undertaken:
Rights defense case of farmers who lost land, rights defense case of victims of family planning by force, Falun Gong case.

  1. Partial Personnel and Contact Information for the Beijing Metropolitan Bureau of Justice and Beijing Lawyers Association:

 
Beijing Metropolitan Bureau of Justice Director Dong Chunjiang 139-0122-4329
Beijing Metropolitan Bureau of Justice Legal Jurisdiction Department Head Xiao Lizhu 138-0127-4449, 010-5857-5678 (office)
Beijing Metropolitan Bureau of Justice Legal Jurisdiction Department Deputy Head Chai Lei 138-0100-3837
Beijing Metropolitan Bureau of Justice Legal Jurisdiction Department Feng Xinquan 010-5857-5631
Beijing Lawyers Association Secretary General Li Bingru 139-1087-4112
Beijing Lawyers Association President Zhang Xuebing 139-0103-1860
Beijing Lawyers Association Rights Defense Department Staffer Han Minjiang 010-5857-5551
Beijing Lawyers Association Rights and Interests Department Secretary General Zhang Weimin (lawyer) 139-0108-8422
Beijing Lawyers Association Rights and Interests Department Hu Xiaolin (lawyer) 139-0121-5169

For more information on harassment of rights defense lawyers, see:

For more information on calls for direct election of the Beijing Lawyers Association, see:

Explore Topics