< More News

Latest News

Over One Hundred Disability Rights Advocates Appeal For The Release Of Chinese Lawyers

Over One Hundred Disability Rights Advocates Appeal For The Release Of Chinese Lawyers

August 17, 2015

On August 17, 2015, 101 disability rights advocates from across China sent an open letter to the Ministry of Public Security, demanding an immediate and unconditional release of all detained lawyers and other individuals, including Lawyer Wang Yu who had represented the “Beijing First Case Regarding Discrimination Against Disability In Employment”.

The 101 disability rights advocates expressed their demands in the letter that all detained lawyers and other individuals be released immediately and unconditionally, all lawyers enjoy their rights enshrined in the Chinese Criminal Procedural Law including but not limited to promptly notifying the families of their detention and allowing them to meet with their lawyers, and that the state media curb reports that based on no evidence and aim at smearing and stigmatizing before a court ruling.

Ms. Xie, who have been working on disability rights advocacy in China for many years, hold that the disability advocacy group has achieved a lot in recently years. Several examples include the establishment of reservation system for the disabled in jobs, the policy of posts specialized for the disabled, the implementation of the preferential policy of public transportation in many cities, allowing the visually-impaired persons to attend the national college entrance exams and to be enrolled in college, and the improvement of barrier-free facilities and services in public domains such as the banking facilities, etc.. All these positive changes in policy have resulted a lot from the joint efforts of the disabled community and the lawyers as well. It is because of such efforts to response to the government’s promises of “ruling the country by law” and “administration according to the law” that the disabled persons have been able to receive real respect from the public and become subjects with equal rights rather than subjects with charity and sympathy. The lawyers who were detained in this crackdown have been a significant alliance with the disabled community. Therefore, we have no reason to keep silent anymore when their legal rights have been violated! Even if our voices may not change the final results, the lawyers by no doubts can hear our support and gain strength from it to continue their work!

 [For Enquires, please contact]

1.Ms. Xie(working on disability rights advocacy in China for many years):+1 914 484 1439 (You can get the name list of 101 disability rights advocates from her)
2. K Chan (China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group):+852-2388-1377

 [Links]

1.The open letter: https://freeonlinesurveys.com/s/lRMyvCvz
2.Beijing News : The Beijing First Case regarding discrimination against the disabled in employment (2013-09-04) http://www.bjnews.com.cn/news/2013/09/04/281768.html
3.Caixin Net: Zhongwang Online sued for employment discrimination(2013-05-13)http://china.caixin.com/2013-05-13/100527355.html

 

【Disability Rights Advocates Jointly Demand an Immediate Release of Lawyers】

The Ministry of Public Security,

We are a group of disability rights advocates from different parts of China and we strive to promote rights of equality.

We are shocked to hear that, Wang Yu, who was the represented lawyer for the Beijing First Case of Employment Discrimination against Disability, was taken away by 20 police officers at 4am, on 9 July 2015. Her husband Bao Longjun (who planned to leave Beijing) and her sixteen-year-old son Bao Mengmeng were also taken away by the police. From then on, there were no updates about Wang Yu. So far Wang Yu’s family has not received any notification of her criminal detention. The charges and location of detention are unknown and lawyers cannot perform their duties. On the other hand, her son, Bao Mengmeng, had been summoned and interviewed by the police for 4 times and he was in emotional distress. Bao had been warned by the police not to appeal or hire lawyers for his parents and the police has taken his passport and keys. At present, Wang’s parents were monitored by the police in mainland China.

Up until 5pm 29 July 2015, we noticed that at least 261 mainland lawyers and law firm staff were detained, arrested, incommunicado, summoned and restricted freedom temporarily; and the statistics are growing. What is more worrying is that, among the 15 lawyers and their assistants who are taken criminal compulsory measures, only one lawyer is permitted to meet with his lawyer; the remaining 14 of them have no access to the outside world at all. Some of them even have been detained for at least 21 days.

Although we are not from the media and the legal profession, we understand that: firstly, the Criminal Procedural Law in PRC states very clearly that, only courts can convict the accused, but not any other governmental organs; secondly, the CCTV and other government media agencies have no power to convict the accused and disclose case information before a court ruling; thirdly, according to the PRC Constitution, all PRC citizens shall have the freedom of speech and have the right to making complaints against the officials.

Having received the news from our friends, the detained lawyers mentioned in the above had been involved in many human rights cases, and made a lot of efforts in safeguarding the basic rights of citizens and promoting the rule of law. Lawyer Wang Yu once represented the “First Case of Employment Discrimination against People with Disabilities in Beijing”, which aimed to promote equal employment right for disabled persons.

Liu Ming (alias), a visually impaired person from Tianjing, was the party to this case. In August 2012, Liu worked in a TV show of recruitment made by the Beijing television broadcast company, and signed an employment contract with Zhongwang Online as a sound team member of the post-production, with a monthly wage of RMB$4,500. Later, after the show, he was re-assigned as a visual team member of the post-production and the monthly wage for the probation period became RMB$2,500. During the probation period, the company dismissed Liu because he failed his test as a video-producer and the company did not have suitable position for him.

While Liu lost his job, he met his lawyer Wang through referral by his friend. With the helpful assistance of lawyer Wang, Liu was able to launch proceedings against Zhongwang Online in court under Employment Promotion Law and Regulation on the Employment of the Disabled, in order to protect his right to employment. However, Liu lost his case in the first instance. Wang, on behalf of Liu, subsequently appealed on the grounds of unclear and insufficient evidence, wrongful application of laws, and serious infringement of proceedings, thereby leading the judge erred. She represented Liu in the second instance.

In addition, Wang voiced for the disabled group in several occasions by advocating the idea of “taking an inclusive and fair attitude towards the employment of visually impaired people, providing reasonable accommodation for visually impaired people, putting their abilities to good use, so as to promote equal employment opportunities and eliminate discrimination against visually impaired people in the society”.

Lawyers are the upholders of the rule of law and defenders of social justice. If the lawyers’ rights are not protected, the rights of citizens cannot be safeguarded. We hence are calling for the society to stand up for the lawyers’ safety and rights. We hereby urge,

1. All detained lawyers and other individuals be released immediately and unconditionally;
2.All lawyers enjoy their rights enshrined in the Chinese criminal procedural law including but not limited to promptly notifying the families of their detention and allowing them to meet with their lawyers;
3.And that the state media curb reports that based on no evidence and aim at smearing and stigmatizing before a court ruling. 

Disability rights advocates from across China
August 2, 2015

Top