Excerpted from Guardian:
The US-based group Human Rights in China (HRIC) accused the authorities of "an all-out attack" on rights lawyers.
"This suppression will inevitably lead to grave consequences for society, creating greater disadvantages for already persecuted groups and greater social instability," said HRIC executive director Sharon Hom.
The recent moves come on top of existing pressures on rights defenders, who have repeatedly experienced harassment and physical violence in their work.
In April, Yang Zaixin, from Guangxi province, was beaten by thugs as he helped peasants challenging illegal land seizure by the government.
HRIC alleges that Cheng Hai was savagely beaten in April by government workers while working in Chengdu, and that last month Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu were beaten by policemen in Chongqing.
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For more information on harassment of rights defense lawyers, see:
For more information on calls for direct election of the Beijing Lawyers Association, see: