Rule of Law

China puts rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang on trial as police scuffle with diplomats and protesters

As President Xi’s crackdown on dissent continues, China’s most prominent human rights lawyer awaits sentencing on the “vague charges” leveled against him. Meanwhile, many of the 200 human rights lawyers authorities rounded up in July, in a major nationwide sweep, remain behind bars. The Los Angeles Times reports.

“Of course they grabbed him first and then got to work on figuring out why”

“This is less how government functions and more like a season of ‘The Sopranos’”

By Jonathan Kaiman for the Los Angeles Times, published on December 14, 2015

Chinese authorities tried one of the country’s most prominent human rights lawyers behind closed doors on Monday morning, as police roughed up protesters, journalists and diplomats who gathered outside of a Beijing courthouse hoping to observe the proceedings.

Prosecutors have charged Pu Zhiqiang, 50, with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and “inciting ethnic hatred” over seven microblog posts that he penned between 2011 and 2014.

Pu, known as China’s “Giant Lawyer” for his commanding height and baritone voice, has gained a massive following online as a bold and acerbic critic of government policy. He could face up to eight years in prison; human rights groups have called his case a government attack on free expression and dissent.

“[Pu] admitted the seven microblogs were written by him, there was no issue with it, this is a fact,” Pu’s lawyer, Mo Shaoping, told the Reuters news agency. “Secondly, he said that if these microblog posts had caused injury to other people, he apologizes for it. Thirdly, he had no intention to incite ethnic hatred or pick quarrels and provoke trouble.”

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Further Reading

China must free activists who championed environment and the rule of law

China’s irrepressible lawyers

A cyber attack struck messaging app Telegram just as China was cracking down on human rights lawyers

Scores of rights lawyers arrested after nationwide swoop in China

Chinese authorities crack down on the country’s public interest groups and lawyers

Civil society’s diminishing “space to negotiate”

Guo Yushan and the Predicament of NGOs in China

Friends gone to jail – Chinese activists Kou Yanding and Guo Yushan

This family nightmare is the price of political expression in China

Pan Haixia’s first letter to Guo Yushan, dated October 14

Pan Haixia’s second letter to Guo Yushan, dated November 7

Pan Haixia’s third letter to Guo Yushan, dated December 3

Pan Haixia’s fourth letter to Guo Yushan, dated January 31

An Open Letter to Procuratorate of Haidian District from senior researchers of the Transition Institute

The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau’s Recommendation for the Indictment of Guo Yushan and He Zhengjun

Beijing police recommend charges against civil society advocates

Foreign NGOs under increasing pressure in China

China’s strike against NGOs: “into the pan and deep-fry”

Beijing social think-tank shut down amid crackdown

Silencing Guo Yushan

A letter to my husband Guo Yushan

Yang Zili and the paranoid regime

China crushes intellectual freedom even after decades of successful market reforms

The plight of China’s rights lawyers

In China, to destroy lives is legal, but to save them is not

Just man Guo Yushan

Lawyer Xi Xiangdong: Record of a meeting with He Zhengjun of the Transition Institute, detained on suspicion of “operating an illegal business”

In China, Civic Groups’ Freedom, and Followers, Are Vanishing

Exile in My Own Country – A Letter to Domestic Security Officer Li in Beijing

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