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A Global Joint Statement on the 3rdAnniversary of 709 Crackdown and China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day

A Global Joint Statement on the 3rdAnniversary of 709 Crackdown and China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day

 

July 9, 2018 marks the 3rdanniversary of the 709 Crackdown, a massive clampdown by the Chinese authorities on human rights lawyers and activists, and the 2ndanniversary of the China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day. During the past year, we have witnessed the Chinese government’s unceasing, unconstitutional and unlawful suppression of rights lawyers and civil society rights in the pretext of “ruling the country in accordance with law,” which we strongly condemn. We urge the Chinese government immediately and unconditionally to release the lawyers and activists detained in the 709 Crackdown, immediately and unconditionally to withdraw the administrative sanctions in respect of the revocation and invalidation of rights lawyers’ practice licenses, and to stop all forms of harassment, intimidation and repression of human rights lawyers.

 

After the 19thNational Congress of the Communist Party of China (19thParty Congress) in 2017 – China has entered a new totalitarian era of Xi Jinping’s socialism, with his personal power at its peak. With the goal of rooting out the rights defenders’ movement, the Chinese government has gone to great lengths as far as consolidating state power through constitutional amendments and repressing civil society by means of draconian laws, leading to a decline in civil society’s capacity to monitor the government. As the head of the “New Five Black Categories,” human rights lawyers will surely be the first to be cracked down on.

 

Updates of 709 Lawyers and Activists

In response to this era of unprecedented repression, the China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day was set up to recognize Chinese rights lawyers’ courage and determination, as well as to make known their perseverance in resisting against the oppressive regime. The 709 Crackdown and its persisting aftermath remain the major concerns of the China Human Rights Lawyers’ Day on its 2ndanniversary.

 

Numerous lawyers and activists involved in the crackdown were sentenced last year; several victims are still under detention. Lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who joined forces with 709 families to defend the arrested lawyers, was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment for “inciting subversion of state power.” Wu Gan, an active civil activist and vocal critic of the judicial system, stated in his appellate brief the people’s deserved right to overthrow an autocratic regime. Wu was charged with “subverting state power” and sentenced to a prison term of 7 years. Convicted of “inciting subversion of state power,” Lawyer Xie Yang suffered various tortures while in detention, such as beatings, “tiger chair”, sleep deprivation, etc. Since being taken away in July 2015, lawyer Wang Quanzhang has been held incommunicado and forbidden to meet his family or lawyers appointed by his family. In an open letter during the 19thParty Congress, Wang’s former defense lawyer Yu Wensheng demanded Xi Jinping’s resignation and immediate constitutional amendment, but was charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and “interference with public duties.” Yu has now been detained for 5 months. Lawyer Zhou Shifeng, former director of Fengrui Law Firm, and veteran activist elder Hu Shigen were convicted of “subverting the state power.” They are serving their respective sentences of 7 years and 7 years and 6 months; Hu is said to be suffering from deteriorating health. Under the charges of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” and fraud, Wang Yu’s defense lawyer Li Yuhan has been held in custody for over 8 months, despite her daily need of a number of drugs for her chronic diseases. Yin Xuan and Wang Fang were sentenced to 3 years and 6 months and 3 years respectively for “picking quarrels and provoking troubles,” simply because they showed support for the 709 lawyers.

 

The 709 Crackdown has affected no fewer than 321 persons, many of whom have been forced to confess under torture and have been deprived of the right to an open and transparent trial, while countless of others face repression merely because of their relationship with the victims, or are revenged by administrative penalty.[1]The Chinese government’s crushing of rights lawyers and activists is not only an infringement of the country’s criminal procedure law, but also a violation of the constitution and international conventions.

 

Aftermath of 709 – Repression in Disguise of Administrative Punishment

Human rights lawyers are living under constant threat as suppression is being stepped up. The revision and adoption of Measures for the Administration of Law Firmsand Administrative Measures for the Practice of Law by Lawyersin 2016 serve as the legal basis for the Ministry of Justice to impose administrative sanctions on lawyers. Law is no longer rights lawyers’ weapon against the autocratic government; it has been altered to provide whitewash for the regime. Since the 19thParty Congress, 16 human rights lawyers and 3 law firms have already received notification of revocation or invalidation of practice license, half of the lawyers involved are closely related to the victims of 709 Crackdown.[2]Some of the law firms have even been forced by the Ministry of Justice to disband or to dismiss certain lawyers. Meanwhile, the notorious annual inspection system continues as a way to clamp down on human rights lawyers. By means of reviewing the types of cases lawyers have represented and lawyers’ online speech, the annual inspection system not only monitors lawyers’ conduct of practice, but also extends its grip to their personal comments and actions. The subtle measure of license revocation and invalidation has been carefully devised by the Chinese government, in order to thoroughly wipe out the human rights lawyers’ community, without provoking international rebuke. On the one hand, the revocation and invalidation of practice licenses can directly deprive lawyers of their means of livelihood, leading to a chilling effect among human rights lawyers. On the other hand, lawyers will then be deterred from taking up human rights cases, resulting in the shrinking of the rights lawyers’ community. Given the vital role of human rights lawyers in the rights defending movement, this new wave of repression through lawyers’ license revocation and invalidation will have a great impact on the sustainability of the entire movement.

 

Demand

It has come to our attention that the core of the “ruling the country in accordance with law” slogan proposed by the Chinese government is to systemize and institutionalize its repressive measures. We strongly condemn the Chinese government’s ceaseless suppression of and persecution of human rights lawyers, which violate the law and the constitution. We urge the Chinese government to:

 

  1. immediately release all human rights lawyers and activists detained in the 709 Crackdown, to revoke their convictions and to uphold justice for the human rights defenders;
  2. make known the condition of Wang Quanzhang, Yu Wensheng and Li Yuhan, and to guarantee their right of legal actions, and immediately and unconditionally release them;
  3. immediately and unconditionally withdraw all decisions about revoking and invalidating lawyers’ licenses and other administrative punishments;
  4. stop all forms of harassment and repression against the human rights lawyers’ community, to ensure that lawyers do not suffer intimidation, hindrance, inappropriate interference, prosecution and administrative sanctions for taking cases or for giving speeches in accordance with their recognized professional duties;

 

The Hope of Rights Defending Movement

Though the regime may seem invincible, the 709 Crackdown in fact reveals the government’s fear of the consolidation of rights defending forces and the speedy expansion of the human rights lawyers’ community. The Crackdown did not deter, but prompted the victims’ families to join the movement for the sake of their loved ones. Having protested for countless times against the judiciary bodies, Li Wenzu embarked on a 1,000-kilometer march to Tianjian to ‘look for’ her husband Wang Quanzhang; Xu Yan, wife of Yu Wensheng, exhausted all institutional means to defend her husband. Their perseverance and determination, together with the fierce international criticisms and a new generation of human rights lawyers that has emerged after the 709 Crackdown, exert immense pressure on the Chinese government. As long as we persist in our striving for justice, there is still a light of hope amidst the darkness.

 

9th July, 2018

 

Initiators:

中國維權律師關注組China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

臺灣聲援中國人權律師網絡Taiwan Support China Human Rights Lawyers Network

 

Co-signatories:

Hong Kong
Asia Monitor Resource Centre 亞洲專訊資料研究中心
Borderless Movement 無國界社運
Community March 社區前進
Civic Party 公民黨
Demosisto 香港眾志
Global Monitor 全球化監察
Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China 香港市民支援愛國民主運動聯合會
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions 香港職工會聯盟
Justice and Peace Commission of HK Catholic Diocese 香港天主教正義和平委員會
Labour Education and Service Network 勞工教育及服務網絡
Labour Party HK 工黨
League of Social Democrats 社會民主連線
Left 21 左翼廿一
New School for Democracy 華人民主書院
Progressive Lawyers Group 法政匯思
Student Fight for Democracy 大專政改關注組
The Democratic Party 民主黨

Taiwan
Association for Taiwan Indigenous Peoples' Policies 台灣原住民族政策協會
Awakening Foundation 婦女新知基金會
Covenants Watch 人權公約施行監督聯盟
Economic Democracy Union 經濟民主連合
Environmental Jurists Association 環境法律人協會
Green Citizens' Action Alliance 綠色公民行動聯盟
Green Party Taiwan 綠黨
God Knows Café 天曉得咖啡
Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan 西藏台灣人權連線
Judicial Reform Foundation 民間司法改革基金會
New Power Party 時代力量
Nylon Cheng Liberty Foundation 鄭南榕基金會
Parliamentary Cross-party Group on International Human Rights 台灣立法院跨黨派國際人權促進會
Prison Watch 監所關注小組
Taipei Bar Association 台北律師公會
Taiwan Alliance to End Death Penalty 台灣廢除死刑推動聯盟
Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights 社團法人台灣伴侶權益推動聯盟
Taiwan Association for Human Rights 台灣人權促進會
Taiwan Association of University Professors 台灣教授協會
Taiwan Friends for Tibet 台灣圖博之友會
Taiwan Friends of Uyghur 台灣維吾爾之友會
Taiwan Forever Association 台灣永社
Taiwan Health Rights Initiative 臺灣健康人權行動協會
Taiwan Innocence Project 台灣寃獄平反協會
Taiwan International Medical Alliance 台灣國際醫學聯盟
Taiwan Labor and Social Policy Research Association 臺灣勞動與社會政策研究協會
Taiwan Labor Front 台灣勞工陣線
Taiwan Occupational Safety and Health Link 臺灣職業安全健康連線
Taiwan Students for a Democratic China 台灣學生促進中國民主化工作會
Taiwan Students for a Free Tibet 臺灣自由圖博學會
Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps 台灣青年反共救國團
The Chen Wen-chen Memorial Foundation 陳文成博士紀念基金會
Thinkers’ Corner 想想人文空間
Voicettank of Taiwan Thinktank 台灣智庫《思想坦克》
Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan 台灣蠻野心足生態協會
Youth Synergy 青平台

Japan
Human Rights Now

The Netherlands
Lawyers For Lawyers 律師助律師基金會

The US
Human Rights In China 中國人權

 

Other International organizations

Chinese PEN Center in Exile 獨立中文作家筆會

 

Individual signatories:

Stuart Russell, Co-director of International Association of People's Lawyers Monitoring Committee, France  國際人民律師協會監督委員會聯席主任, 法國

Pils, Eva, Reader in Transnational Law Dickson Poon School of Law, King’s College London

Szu-Jung Liu, Chair of the Human Rights Committee, Taiwan Bar Association 劉思龍律師,中華民國律師公會全國聯合會人權保護委員會主任委員

Alvin Yeung, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 楊岳橋,香港立法會議員

Charles Peter Mok, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 莫乃光,香港立法會議員

Claudia Mo, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 毛孟靜,香港立法會議員

Dennis Kwok, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 郭榮鏗,香港立法會議員

Jeremy Tam, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 譚文豪,香港立法會議員

Kwok Ka Ki, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 郭家麒,香港立法會議員

Tanya Chan, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 陳淑莊,香港立法會議員

Au Nok-hin, Hong Kong Legislative Councilor 區諾軒,香港立法會議員

Lee Cheuk Yan, former Legislative Councilor in Hong Kong 李卓人,前香港立法會議員

Alan Leong, former Chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association & former Legislative Councilor in Hong Kong  梁家傑,前大律師公會主席及前香港立法會議員

Arthur Cheung

Yin Lock

Venus Cheng

Kam Yuen Tsoi

Joshua Wong

Winnie Kwok

Bowen Cheung

Leung Po Ling

Thomas Yu

CW Liu

Nicole Izsak

Wilson Chan

Zhifeng Lei

Tommy Lee

Jimmy Chan

Stanley Luk

Chi Ming Paul Chung

Martin Toshing

Shirley Wong

Yang Ying

Wing Yan Chong

Chi Hung Lau

Chin Hing Choi

Liza Wong

Defoe Chan

Allen But

Yujian Zhang

Edith To

Yutong Su

Po Hi Yeung

Wai Yim

Chow Chung Nin

King Yin Pang

Chu Mo Fong

Sum-lung Wong

Alvin Cheung

Kit Ling Luk

Bianling Jin

Sau Ting Lam

KL Lee

Antonio Luk

Yuen Wah Fong

Andy Wong

Law Wai Lin

Ho Shiu Kwan

Susan Chiu

Chungchi Che

Grace Wong

Natalie Hui

Henry Lai

Cofa Tsui

Nga Ting Leung

Sabrina Lau

Dân Việt Công bằng, Dân chủ và Văn minh

Phu Pham

Nguyen Ngoc

Viet Ha Trang

Tai Le

Vo Kha

Nguyen Dung

Almo Gobber

Ray Wong

Catherine Chien

Peter Dang

Joshua Au

Chan Che Wai

Dau Nguyen Van

Linh Nguyen

Alvin Lau

Daniel Suen

Yau Yau

文質彬

Francine Chan

Luuvan Quang

Wai Man Wan

Michelle Chiu

TK Wong

莫惠儀

Theresa Tang

Nicole Pong

Aurora Chan

Kimberley Chan

John Chung

Yau Ka Hei

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Raymond Cheung

Oi Ha Chan

Ng Ling Fung

Joyce Wong

Oscar Ngai

Marco Galope

Tony Phuah

Hsingchung Wang

Thomas Ma

Alice Yeung

Jacklin Chang

張文惠

Chun Kit Wong

徐悅怡

Nesel Gestiada

陳思穎

H Lai

Jeff Chang

Ying Tsang

Ying Fuk Tsang

Sze Chiu Ng

Ka Ming Chan

Wing Choi Daniel Chan

James Callaghan

Charlene Kwan

Yuenching Yip

Hei Ho

馬超順

Elena Pangayan

Yep Siu Kei

Ka Lun Ng

Wong Ming Lun

Wilfred Yeung

Kwok Cheong Cheung

Milton Chang

Iris Tse

Salif Khan

Fung Ben

Henry Lau

Ryan Lo

Lee Po

Louis Page

Miles Gomez

Wai Hung Tse

Betty Hui

Chris Jang

SN Kwok

Yiu Kai Au

Ying Chi Lee

Agnes Li

Grace Wong

Rosita Leung

Richard Ciu

Wilson So

Alex Chun Hung Lai

Yeung Sum

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Priscilla Chiu

Jo Clancey

JT Jason Tsoi

Liu Siu Wah

Emma To

Siu Yu Chan

Suk-shyan Rita Chen

Roger Cheng

Teresa Wai

Jacky

Joe Moe

Po Yuen Fai

Wai Ng

Cheng Cheuk Yiu

Indah Kusmiati

Gordon Li

Eric Yip

Law Ming Lee

Prisca Lau

Ken Ho

Zheng Chen He Zheng Chen He

Andy Tsang

Chew BS

Robert C W Pang

Steve Son

Ambrose Shu Kay Law

Hingwai Tse

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Jacika Walker

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Lam Candice

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Wu Kai

Suen Wang Tat

Lok

Wing Yi Ngai

Molly Fung

Dickson Lee

林衍成(Lam In Seng)

Cyrus So

Louisa Chow

Lulu Ash

Lam Ling

William Ki

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Vi Tran

Chun Yan Ho

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Stephen Char

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You Kwan So

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Alexander Taptsov

Richard Tsoi

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Ho Fred

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Yiu Kwong Chong

Cheong Ching

羅沃啟

Elsa Ko

Daisy Tse

Singkit Lo

Betsy Leung

Y Yung

Paul Chan

Kit Wai Wong

Charm Luen Wong

Bruce Lui

Mei

Francis So

Siriphorn Chaiphet

Paul Lai

Chu Maggie

Chi Wai Wu

Kam Ng

Chiwai Wong

Andy K S To To

Cheuk Ming Li

Senia Ng

施宙辰

Lee Lai

Kin Yuen Ip

Tinchi Pun

Judy Kwok

Phyllis Luk

Sylvia Mah

Michael Ho

J Patterson

Rebecca Po

Litwin Cheng

Ocean Fung

Yung Wai Hin

Philip Dykes

Shu-ying Chan

MC Cheung

Chan Man Tak

Theresa Chu

Wilson Leung

King Wong

Benny Mok

Au Yeung Yin Chun

Lucille Mok

Chan King Tang

Alan Lo

Karen C

Wai Kwan Chu

Henry Chan

Ivy Li

Albert Chan

Yeung Yu Him

Kim Man

Christopher Ptaszynski-Neophytou

Lilian Lo

Candice Lo

Rose Wu

Katy Wong

Alan Leung

Alan Leung

Virginia Yau

PlaySandcwm Vanesaa

Gery Warner, Peng

Maxis Yau

A Mam

Poon Suet Chi

Doris P. C. Ko

Edith Wong

Lo Cheung

Wai Lan Cheng

David Ng

Trịnh Hữu Long

Benny Yeung

Yunmei Li

Lucia You

Constant Kim

Alfred Li

Jenny Woo

Wendy Chen

Chelsea Chan

Alex Chan

Amy Chan

黃曉柔

Juliet Wu

Man See Ng

Ma Wing Hei

Yuqi Xiao

Ashley Ko

Mei Leung

Manyee Siu

Ho Wai Hin

Nelson Ho

Suetwah Choi

Rena Lau

Becky Fung

Douglas Lam

李婉君

Cham Sze Lo

Paul Lee

Chi Lau

Chan Ka Man

Kenji Lai

Fredrik Fan

Venessa Chan

Kelly Leung

Tao Chiu Lam

Shui Meng Ng

Ronny Kwong

Florence de Changy

Kwok Ho Lam

Johnny Siu

Chiu Wai Chan

Angie Te

盧敬華

黃嘉輝

Venus Cheng

George Chan

Leung Wing

Venisa Wai

王澄烽

桑普

Ada Lai

Bruce Luz

Elson Tong

岑倚蘭

Esmond Wong

Angela Lee

Rachel Lao

蕭曉華

陳嘯軒

Vera Lung

Katy Siu

Joyce Chan

Joyce Wai

Alli Malone

Amit Bamb

N K. H.

Sheung So

Marisha Bisht

Chen Howard

Kam Yiu Cheng

May Wong

Siu Fai So

Franco Mella

Andrew Wan

Roy Ng

Wu Jun Yen

Chun Wing Lee

Leung Kam Wai

Vincent Yee

姚建清

Wong Ming

Jane Cheung

Terence Halliday

Mei Ling Tsang

Paul Wong

Ching Hin Leung

Andrea Leung

D Pang

Andrew Leung

Leon Kwan

Henry Cao

Ng Lung

Bobbi Lee

Ching Lan Pang

Elaine Wong

Kai Yeung Wong

Ding Chan

Tam Daniel

Tiff Ip

Wing Fei Lo

Miu Kwan

Tai Chung Lam

Penghsuan Lee

Chun Lin

Yan Yin Tse

Raymond Cheung

青木有加

Bhalla Joshua

Ka Ling Wong

E-ling Chiu

Lin Chan

Silvia Lam

Po Lam Yip

Li Laiha

James Chan

Gregory Ma

Yen Wai Chung

Steve Tam

Elvin Chan

錢雲枝

余風

Ethan Chan

Chin Wai Leung

崔愫欣

Tango Beh

Bing Chen

Li Phoebe

Gloria Chan

Peter To

Matthew Lui

Wendy Lee

Yau Brandon

Fung Wa Chan

F L

Karl Wollaeger

許澤流

David Szutu

Yvonne Lo

Wu Mo Cheong Amos

Tina Tseng

Yi Kwan Cheung

K O Lam

Charmaine Chan

Frankie Cheung

Sukhvir Sandhu

KY Poon

Chiu Fan Wong

Roy Poon

Joseph Chow

Polly Fung

Rayne Yuen

Sandra Lo

Lui Po Chu

Cheng Jess

Ka Keung Fung

Lee Clifford

Sibyl Wong

Bonnie Chan

Yan Kit Woo

Alan Wong

Becky Yip

Eric Pun

Queenie Man

Federico Cappelletti

Cathy Sin Ping Wong

Gabriella Fruianu

Chian Eric

Mabel Tung

Norma Wong

Lawrence Pak

Vincent Kwun Leung Lee

Sally Mak

Tim Cheung

Joe Kwok

Hsiu-hsin Lin

Tsui Yee

Ha Lo

Jennifer Chau

Sharon Lambert

Zenghui Fan

Shira Lamb

William Chan

Terence Yiu

Ho Harry Hei Yin

Cecilia Yeung

Wing Yi Shih

Joyce Cheung

Jack Pun

Ming Wong

Ping Wong

Cathy Lung

Ching Wee Sze

Kwok-ying Lau

Wai Hung Leung

Thomas Chow

Lung-kuan Wang

Charles Fung

Lee Eling

Lee K S

Chris Lau

Leslie Rule

Yan Ho Lai

Jeffrey Fong

Farhan Noor

So Chong Ng

Gary Chan

Ming Ki Cheng

Stella Lee

Jack Young

Pang Hing Ting

Keith Tai

Chi Lin Ngan

Ho Yin Chow

Karen Blümcke

Cheung Wai Man

MK Lam

Geoff Cheng

Daisy Chan

Pak Ming Fai

Tammy Kay

Ellihcor Ebar

Chui Kwok

Huen Yee

Kai Wong

Yoyo Lam

Ken Lai

Lai King Fai

Woo Ka Lai

Wendy Chung

Gladys Wong

Gilda Szeto

Christine Lee

Angie Bucu

Yuen Fung Mak

Andrew Quay

Minny Lau

Bryan Au Yeung

David Saunders

Tho Cha

David Chan

Law Saku

Sum Yip

Ann Wong

Eric Law

Ho Wun Chan

Angus Ma

Cannie Chan

SANDY逍遙

Carmen Yu

Gloria Lam

Lui Kit Ho

林詩涵

Rose Chan

Chung Yat Cheng

Kelvin Kwok

Douglas Tam

Sun Hsinhui

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Lyla Gallagher

Ho Ting Lee

Kim Hoe Tee

Ashley Law

Veronica Ko

Jianhong Wang

Dan Lee

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Amuro Lee

Chrisrina Liang

Yanki Kwok

Anders Hotspur

ManSum Chiu

Edmond Lam

Puiwa Lee

Ray Halpin

Raymond Chan

Ching Mui Choi

Edward Wong

William Tong

Fanny Wong

Yi Man Alexa Wong

SF Siu


[1][“709 Crackdown”] Latest Data and Development of Cases as of 1800 17 May 2018, https://tinyurl.com/ybmsjqqf

[2][A Joint Statement to Strongly Condemn the Chinese Government’s Suppression against Human Rights Lawyers through Revocation and Invalidation of Lawyers’ Licenses], https://tinyurl.com/y6uljnzu

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