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Xu Zhiyong’s Lawyer Accuses Police and Detention Center of Rights Violations

July 22, 2013

In two open letters, Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), the lawyer representing the detained rights advocate Xu Zhiyong (许志永), accuses the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau and Beijing No. 3 Detention Center of unlawfully preventing him from meeting with his client. The letters are dated July 21 and posted on Liu’s website. See below for Human Rights in China’s English translation of the letters.

In the letters, addressed to the All-China Lawyers' Association and the Shandong Province Department of Justice, Liu details his attempts on July 18 and 19 to see Xu Zhiyong in detention—requests that were refused by the Detention Center—and his own six-hour detention at the Suncun police sub-station on July 18. Liu argues that these actions are in violation of both the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC, which requires a detention facility or jail to allow lawyers to meet with clients within 48 hours after a request is filed, and the Lawyers’ Law, which stipulates that a lawyer’s right to practice is protected by law.

Open Letter Requesting the Lawyers' Association to
Defend Lawyers' Right to Practice in Accordance with the Law

Liu Weiguo, July 21, 2013

[English translation by Human Rights in China]

To the All-China Lawyers' Association (ACLA),

I, Liu Weiguo, am a licensed lawyer of the Shandong Quanshun Law Firm, a member of the Jinan City Lawyers' Association, and a member of ACLA. In the course of practicing my profession, my rights as a lawyer have been seriously violated. Therefore, in accordance with relevant provisions of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Lawyers and the Charter of the ACLA, I am requesting the ACLA to defend the rights of its member lawyers to practice in accordance with law.

On July 17, 2013, the Shandong Quanshun Law Firm accepted a request made by Ms. Cui Zheng (崔筝), Xu Zhiyong's wife, and appointed me to be Xu's lawyer in order to defend him against the charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” On July 18, 2013, I arrived at the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center with my lawyer's license, a power of attorney, and a certificate issued by my law firm, and requested to see Xu Zhiyong, who was being detained at the Center, but the Center unlawfully refused to let me meet with my client. Around 3:00 p.m. on the same day, the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau took me to the Suncun police sub-station on the ground that they needed me to assist their investigation and detained me unlawfully for six hours! They did this without following any legal procedures and have seriously impeded my effort to meet with my client! The following day, I again went to the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center and requested to meet with Xu Zhiyong. The Center did not allow me to meet with Xu Zhiyong even as I waited until the Center closed at 4:30PM.

Article 37 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC stipulates: “When a defense lawyer files a request for a meeting with a criminal suspect or defendant in custody on the strength of his lawyer’s practice certificate, the papers issued by his law firm, and the letter of authorization or an official legal aid document, a detention center shall arrange a meeting in a timely manner, no later than 48 hours after the request is filed.” [Translation by Human Rights in China] This provision requires the detention center to arrange for a meeting within 48 hours upon a lawyer's presentation of his practicing license, power of attorney, and law firm certificate, but the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center failed to do so within 48 hours and seriously violated the rights of lawyers to practice law.

Article 3(4) of the Law on Lawyers stipulates: “Lawful practice by lawyers shall be protected by law. No organization or individual may violate lawyers' lawful rights and interests.” [Translation by Human Rights in China] This provision requires legal protection for lawyers' right to practice law, but the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau has seriously violated my right to practice law by unlawfully detaining me and preventing me from meeting with Xu Zhiyong!

The Beijing No. 3 Detention Center's unlawful refusal to arrange for me to meet with Xu Zhiyong and my six-hour illegal detention by the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau have seriously violated my lawful right to practice law. In light of this, in accordance with Article 6(2) of the ACLA Charter, I request the Association to fulfill its obligation and defend my lawful right to practice in accordance with the law.

Member: Liu Weiguo
July 21, 2013

Copied to:
Jinan City Lawyers Association
Shandong Province Lawyers Association
Jinan City Bureau of Justice
Shandong Province Department of Justice
Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China

Attachment: Open Letter Requesting the Department of Justice to Safeguard Lawyers' Right to Practice in Accordance with Law

 


Open Letter Requesting the Department of Justice to Defend Lawyers'
Right to Practice in Accordance with the Law

Liu Weiguo, July 21, 2013

[English translation by Human Rights in China]

To the Shandong Province Department of Justice,

I, Liu Weiguo, am a licensed lawyer of the Shandong Quanshun Law Firm. In the course of practicing my profession, my rights as a lawyer have been seriously violated. Therefore, in accordance with relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People's Republic of China and the Law of the People's Republic of China on Lawyers, I am requesting the competent departments to safeguard, in accordance with the law, my rights to practice law.

On July 17, 2013, the Shandong Quanshun Law Firm accepted a request made by Ms. Cui Zheng (崔筝),  Xu Zhiyong's wife, and appointed me to be Xu's lawyer in order to defend him against the charge of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” On July 18, 2013, I arrived at the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center with my lawyer's license, a power of attorney, and a certificate issued by my law firm, and requested to see Xu Zhiyong, who was being detained at the Center, but the Center unlawfully refused to let me meet with my client. Around 3:00 p.m. on the same day, the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau took me to the Suncun police sub-station on the ground that they needed me to assist their investigation and detained me unlawfully for six hours! They did this without following any legal procedures and have seriously impeded my effort to meet with my client! The following day, I again went to the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center and requested to meet with Xu Zhiyong. The Center did not allow me to meet with Xu Zhiyong even as I waited until the Center closed at 4:30PM.

Article 37 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the PRC stipulates: “When a defense lawyer files a request for a meeting with a criminal suspect or defendant in custody on the strength of his lawyer’s practice certificate, the papers issued by his law firm, and the letter of authorization or an official legal aid document, a detention center shall arrange a meeting in a timely manner, no later than 48 hours after the request is filed.” [Translation by Human Rights in China] This provision requires the detention center to arrange for a meeting within 48 hours upon a lawyer's presentation of his practicing license, power of attorney, and law firm certificate, but the Beijing No. 3 Detention Center failed to do so within 48 hours and seriously violated the rights of lawyers to practice law.

Article 3(4) of the Law on Lawyers stipulates: “Lawful practice by lawyers shall be protected by law. No organization or individual may violate lawyers' lawful rights and interests.” [Translation by Human Rights in China] This provision requires legal protection for lawyers' right to practice law, but the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau has seriously violated my right to practice law by unlawfully detaining me and preventing me from meeting with Xu Zhiyong!

As the competent administrative department responsible for the legal profession, the Department of Justice bears the responsibility of safeguarding lawyers' rights to practice and protecting their lawful rights and interests. The Beijing No. 3 Detention Center's unlawful refusal to arrange for me to meet with Xu Zhiyong and my six-hour illegal detention by the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau have seriously violated my lawful right to practice law. In light of this, I request your Department to fulfill your legal obligations and defend lawyers' rights to practice.

Author: Liu Weiguo, Lawyer, Shandong Quanshun Law Firm
July 21, 2013

Copied to:
Jinan City Bureau of Justice
Ministry of Justice of the People's Republic of China
Jinan City Lawyers Association
Shandong Province Lawyers Association
All China Lawyers' Association

 

For more information on Xu Zhiyong, see:

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