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Xu Zhiyong’s Lawyer Liu Weiguo in Custody, Rights Group is Shut Down

July 18, 2013

According to information available online and HRIC sources, Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), the lawyer of Xu Zhiyong (许志永), was taken into custody on July 18, 2013, after he attempted to visit Xu at Beijing No. 3 Detention Center. Xu was criminally detained on July 16.

Sources said that while Liu was waiting at the detention center, he was taken by the Beijing Daxing District Public Security Bureau on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order”—the same charge against Xu Zhiyong—to the Suncun police sub-station.  

According to a July 18 tweet sent out by rights activist Hu Jia (胡佳), Liu has since been taken by Beijing Domestic Security personnel to a guest house run by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, in the Liupukang neighborhood in Beijing’s Western District (西城区六铺炕中油宾馆), and is under the watch of Domestic Security officers from Shandong Province (where Liu is from). Hu speculates that Liu may be forced to return to Jinan, Shandong Province.   

In another development, according to a Chinese language BBC article , a rights defense group founded by Guo Yushan (郭玉), who has worked with Xu Zhiyong on rights defense activities, was shut down by authorities on July 18. Founded in 2007, the organization, Transition Institute (传知行社会经济研究所), was devoted to research on issues arising from social transformation.

Guo told BBC that in the morning of July 18, about 20 people from the Beijing Municipal Civil Affairs Administration Bureau came to the Transition Institute’s office and told him they were shutting down the office because it had not registered with the Bureau.

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