China Cuts Off Access Of Lawyers to Leading Human Rights Advocate

The Chinese government has cut off access of lawyers to leading human rights advocate, Liu Xianbin, 42. He was charged in June for subversion for “incitement to subvert state power” for his articles that included his reflections on the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and the arrest of Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

China jailed Liu Xiaobo for 11 years as part of its longstanding crackdown on free speech and dissent.

Of course, the United States once had the moral high ground to denounce such abuses until the Bush Administration denied detainees access to lawyers and held them indefinitely without trial.
Former Bush officials like Georgetown Professor Viet Dinh and California law professor John Yoo insisted that detainees could be denied access to the courts and counsel. After returning to academic, Dinh suggested that a few more rights might be acceptable.

The Obama Administration has further diminished our ability to criticize China by announcing its support for indefinite detention and its cover up of the Bush torture program.

Source: Reuters

45 thoughts on “China Cuts Off Access Of Lawyers to Leading Human Rights Advocate”

  1. Kay,

    My understanding is that Greenwald stopped practicing voluntarily. I don’t know… Here’s an interesting quote of his:

    “Over the past five years, a creeping extremism has taken hold of our federal government, and it is threatening to radically alter our system of government and who we are as a nation. This extremism is neither conservative nor liberal in nature, but is instead driven by theories of unlimited presidential power that are wholly alien, and antithetical, to the core political values that have governed this country since its founding”; for, “the fact that this seizure of ever-expanding presidential power is largely justified through endless, rank fear-mongering—fear of terrorists, specifically—means that not only our system of government is radically changing, but so, too, are our national character, our national identity, and what it means to be American.” — Glenn Greenwald

  2. @ anon nurse

    I missed your last posting while I was posting re Glenn Greenwald.

    Personally I am totally excited about the power of the Internet to change the world and fight totalitarianism.

    I think that the previous holocausts would not have developed as they did if we had had the Internet then.

    Even when there was genocide in Bosnia in 1992-1995 the Internet then was nothing like the Internet now. Digital Cameras at that time were also very limited in availability. I found on-line that

    “The first digital cameras for the consumer-level market that worked with a home computer via a serial cable were the Apple QuickTake 100 camera (February 17 , 1994), the Kodak DC40 camera (March 28, 1995), the Casio QV-11 (with LCD monitor, late 1995), and Sony’s Cyber-Shot Digital Still Camera (1996).”

  3. I looked for “Greenwald Christoph & Holland” but can’t find a current website.

    I looked up Glenn Greenwald on the New York attorney website and found that his law license is listed as “suspended”.

    I got a letter from DOJ just recently acknowledging that the DOJ Data Integrity Board has not had a meeting in years.

  4. kay sieverding,

    Thanks for the additional information, including the links… “Personal Democracy Forum” looks interesting (located via the “techpresident” link above:

    http://personaldemocracy.com/

    Sorry about not posting the openleaks address, kay. An oversight…

    In general, I’m encouraged. This is bigger than any one of us –bigger than the personal injustices that any one of us might face. We have to continue fighting the good fight, as I often say, with the hope that things will improve, as the truth comes to light… We struggle for the greater good…

  5. As anon nurse linked above and as Jill often notes, Glenn Greenwald is the most outspoken constitutional lawyer against what is occurring in this arena and along with Professor Turley, they are exposing the facts behind our loss of civil liberties.

    Why don’t professional lawyers who are concerned with the torture memos, the past torture program, continued indefinite detentions, et cetera, and the unconscionable ‘state secret’ act of Obama’s self-proclaimed ‘right’ to assassinate U.S. citizens without any due process whatsoever, collectively write a long, detailed treatise on those unlawful abuses and address them to President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder?

    Mespo, Mike Appleton, and any other lawyers; can you explain why concerned lawyers could not or should not collectively write such a letter? Are Professor Turley and other academicians barred from such participation because of academic position or are there professional codes of conduct or canons of law that prohibit lawyers from such correspondences?

    I cannot ever imagine American lawyers taking to the streets, as those courageous Iranian lawyers did last year; however, something needs to be done to stem this abuse before it escalates and the judicial branch of government appears the only effective alternative.

  6. @anon nurse

    OK I see it
    http://www.openleaks.org/

    “One addition to the article: We are not focused on the media, there are other institutions you trust that would benefit from receiving leaks too.”

    I wonder which other institutions they are referring to.

    Thank you for your diligent research

  7. “Open Leaks” doesn’t have a website yet

    kay,

    They do have a website — they just haven’t done much with it yet. The information which I posted is on their home page.

  8. My comment with the links is “awaiting moderation” so I will summarize what I found on-line without providing links since using links on this blog slows up the process.

    One major news media that reported on Open Leaks is the Los Angeles Times. They published a big article on 12/10/2010 the Swedish news website DN.se said that Open Leaks will not publish information on its own.

    I got an email yesterday from someone interested in establishing a website to publish information about allegations of judicial misconduct in federal courts. Presumably that would not include state secrets or military information.

  9. @Anon Nurse

    “Open Leaks” doesn’t have a website yet

    The link I relied on was Wikipedia not “Open Leaks”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenLeaks

    Huffington Post also wrote

    “According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the new site will be called “Openleaks,” and like its predecessor, will allow whistleblowers to leak information to the public anonymously. However, the new site will differ in that it won’t be responsible for hosting the information itself directly for the public eye, but will instead act as an intermediary between whistleblowers and media organizations.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/10/openleaks-wikileaks-rival_n_794939.html

    The Los Angeles Times wrote

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/12/openleaks-a-wikileaks-rival-to-launch-monday.html

    “But, unlike WikiLeaks, Openleaks will not publish information it receives on its own, DN.se said.

    Instead, other organizations will be given access to documents Openleaks obtains and be responsible for publishing that information, the report said.

    The intent is for Openleaks to become a neutral liaison “without a political agenda except from the dissemination of information to the media, the public, non-profit organizations, trade and union organizations and other participating groups,” according to DN.se.

    “All editorial control and responsibility rests with the publishing organization,” an unnamed source told DN.se. “We will, as far as possible, take the role of the messenger between the whistleblower and the organization the whistleblower is trying to cooperate with.”

    By not publishing the documents itself, Openleaks is hoping to avoid the backlash from global political leaders that WikiLeaks has received.

    “As a result of our intention not to publish any document directly and in our own name, we do not expect to experience the kind of political pressure which WikiLeaks is under at this time,” a source told DN.se. “In that aspect, it is quite interesting to see how little of politicians’ anger seems directed at the newspapers using WikiLeaks sources.”

  10. kay sieverding:

    “I looked up OpenLeaks and see that it is claimed that they will not publish the information but will only send it to the established news media.”

    ========

    kay,

    What OpenLeaks posted is the following:

    “We are not focused on the media, there are other institutions you trust that would benefit from receiving leaks too.”

    Could you provide a link? They say that they “are not focused on the media…”, which is good, in my opinion…

  11. I looked up OpenLeaks and see that it is claimed that they will not publish the information but will only send it to the established news media.

    One problem with the established news media is that according to the former website of Mutual Insurance of Bermuda most of them bought insurance from Mutual Insurance of Bermuda, a secretive organization selling insurance not known to the NAIC or state insurance regulators.

    The established news media has been all gung-ho over its rights to publish but does not generally recognize the rights of individuals to privacy or to personal First Amendment Rights.

    I studied publications by the Lawrence Journal World and saw that their owner/ managers went to seminars and advocated that the media should publish information that is not news if it helps advertisers. A newspaper owned and managed by the same owners republished fraudulent statements with the intention of hurting me and apparently did so to please its advertisers.

  12. kay sieverding wrote:

    “One of the reasons why I have complained so much about this is that I was familiar with the evens of the Holocaust and I think that I personally am standing against totalitarianism.”

    ================

    There are many who are “standing against totalitarianism”, but it often feels like a very lonely struggle…

    Some good news:

    OpenLeaks will be launching, with the following twist, “We are not focused on the media, there are other institutions you trust that would benefit from receiving leaks too.”

    WikiLeaks continues to release documents. To date, only 1897 of 251,287 cables have been released. For a summary:

    Friday, Dec 24, 2010 05:25 ET What WikiLeaks revealed to the world in 2010 By Glenn Greenwald

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/24/wikileaks/index.html

  13. New interpretation of an old play, I’d say:

    JACK CADE.
    I thank you, good people:- there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers, and worship me their lord.

    DICK.
    The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

    ~Henry II, Part 2

  14. So, China has an established state religion? It’s central dogma is, “Abuse is not Abuse”?

    Yet another form of irreligious religion?

  15. @ Frank

    I was also detained indefinitely by USMS without trail and without access to a lawyer. I was told in the Federal District Court of Colorado before I was detained that I did not have a right to an attorney and did not have a right to a “full and complete evidentiary hearing”. The presiding judge, Edward Nottingham, who later resigned after allegations of obstruction of justice, said that I could only make a five minute presentation and vowed that he would “not listen”.

    I was then imprisoned without an appearance by a government prosecutor, criminal information or indictment, an arraignment, or a bail hearing for 124 days. During that time no government attorney visited me. The Federal Public Defender for Colorado, Raymond Moore, wrote to me in jail that by statute his office could not help me because I wasn’t accused of a crime.

    I don’t have a criminal record. I have no record of violence and have never owned or even touched a gun. I have been an anti-gun advocate since I was a child, when my father’s co-worker accidentally killed his daughter. I am not Moslem and have never belonged to any extremist group. I was born in this country and my father is a WWII veteran.

    I just happen to have a copy of the manual for the USMS Prisoner Tracking System which lists among its offense codes “subversion”. USMS sent this to me just this month.

    One of the reasons why I have complained so much about this is that I was familiar with the evens of the Holocaust and I think that I personally am standing against totalitarianism.

  16. This should be required by law as the first sentence for any news story regarding these sorts of abuses:
    Of course, the United States once had the moral high ground to denounce such abuses until the Bush Administration denied detainees access to lawyers and held them indefinitely without trial.

    Similarly there should be a required disclaimer for ‘enhanced interrogations’ story since we as a nation now feel torture can sometimes be warranted. And these stories should end with a sentence stating that the current administration continues to debase our nation by upholding the Bush era behavior.

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