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. One problem is that honest lawyers are at a competitive disadvantage compared with dishonest lawyers and we do nothing to help honest lawyers. Because honest lawyers are honest their services are less in demand and they make less money.

  2. mespo:

    Well that is an interesting observation you have made there. I didn’t intend any specific order to those words except in direct response to the article. So I guess you could say I was speaking instinctively or just off the cuff but with some specificity to the subject matter.

    When it comes to government and use of force, it is rare to find justice without a judge and a person to represent the accused (the lawyer).

    I am for judges and lawyers.

    I also recognize that they, like any other group of persons, can be corrupt and wicked. And so it is true that justice must occur, more often than it ought, outside the power of the court and the law. As in the case of our own War of Independence from King George and England: there were courts, there were judges, and there were lawyers (esquires?). All to none effect. It had gotten so bad that England was kidnapping colonialist and soldiers were living in colonialists houses.

    Justice within the system was not possible. Ergo: the American Revolution. Yet, I must say that that revolution was from the top down; not the bottom up. It wasn’t a “revolt of the masses”. It was led by the upper magistrates (this is why I adore Judge Andrew Napolitano–we need more of this).

    And yet, it really wasn’t a revolt or revolution. We didn’t reform England. We didn’t dethrone a King. This is why I call it the War of Independence–that is what it was. We created a new country outside of England proper. England still retained its former political system.

    For me, there is real justice and judgment. Its character and parameters are found in the Bible. Our founders and our framers–those who voted at the conventions–subscribed mostly to the kind and character of justice as found in the Bible. No wonder it has been the marvel of the world. And no wonder the further we get away from it the worse things get.

    When government (any government) violates Biblical principles, by default and in reality, injustice occurs and must occur. Cause and effect.

    I am to resist such a government (with one exception) because my God is a just God and will not tolerate my sitting idly by. I am also, even according to scripture, to resist such a corrupt government because that is what our form of government demands in the formation of its power.

    When the founders wrote the Constitution, they had in mind stopping, not anarchists in the streets, but anarchists in black robes, with pedigrees, distinguished families, educations, and powerful careers. These were the potentially dangerous persons the checks and balances of power is directed at. They are not directed at the people.

  3. Tootie:

    “No judge, no lawyer, no justice, no sanity.”


    I read that as meaning without the first two, there can not be (and never has been) the latter two.

  4. What is concerning is that many countries have recently fully engaged with China despite its attitudes towards human rights. It seems that the leaders of those countries are able to find a trade-off between their economic interests and their concerns about human rights.

  5. Maybe you are right since there seems to be no value for PRO SE free speech.

    You know that PRO SE rights would have prevented the Holocaust. Jewish lawyers didn’t support PRO SE rights and then they all lost their law licenses.

    I was excited when Obama was elected. Then I sued DOJ thinking DOJ would be honest.

    DOJ filed “Subsection (j) allows the head of an agency to promulgate rules exempting any system of records maintained by the agency from any provision of the Act”. That isn’t true because subsection (j) does not apply to “subsections (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e)(4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), (7), (9), (10), and (11), and (i)”

    DOJ filed “The PTS is maintained to capture all information necessary to complete the administrative processing, housing, safekeeping, health care, and disposition of individual federal prisoners who are in custody pending judicial proceedings”. That isn’t true because the words used by DOJ in the Federal Register are “pending criminal proceedings” not “pending judicial proceedings”.

    DOJ filed “the Act does not regulate intra-agency transmission of records containing individual information”. That isn’t true because the Act regulates transmission of records about First Amendment Activities.

    DOJ filed “the USMS’s records generated in response to the warrants issued by the Colorado federal court were used solely as part of an authorized law enforcement activity, viz., the execution of warrants on Mrs. Sieverding after her serial failures to appear.” That isn’t true, there is no reference in the U.S. code to execution of warrants for failure to appear in a civil matter not involving elections, deportation or jury duty.

  6. Someone mentioned Huffington Post in a positive light.

    Mr. Wikileaks should have a HuffPoleak department at his site to expose the severe censoring that goes on there.

    Leftists don’t much tolerate frank or free speech. They were only lobbying for it when they wanted to cuss and say dirty things in print and film media. That is all they meant by “free” speech. And once they got to swear and behave like pigs under the rubric of “free expression” they backed off on promoting free speech.

    My apologies to the real pigs.

  7. Mr. PHD

    We are in the Maunder Minimum: a change for the cold.

    Invest in sheep. Woolens. Heater manufacturers. Shovels.


    And cocoa.

  8. Thank goodness for the supposed possibility of climate change.

    Political climate-change, that is…

    Global warming may be just what is most needed.

    Political warming up to being truthful, being decent, being kind, being caring, being people who listen to themselves as we listen to ourselves, as we listen to the process of life becoming itself.

    As I will have no power over any other person, so I allow no other person any power over me.

    If life is a game, the game is, to me, advanced sandbox in a comfortably warm world, a political world game of little children who share playing in the sands of time. The grains of advanced sandbox sand are of two utterly different kinds which are perfectly indistinguishable from each other; some made of caring, some made of sharing.

    Today it is cold, decency frozen out of humanity’s public policies-in-use. Shall we, against one-another compete, all the way to total defeat?

    Shall we reiterate the blunders of the past, until we vanish in a blinding blast?

    May the game of climate change win the day. Let’s play, as little children, and warm the political climate of our earthly stay. I would like to start now, this very day. Who will go with me, along the way?

  9. China merely follows comrade (and lawyer) Obama’s lead. The fellow traveler and dangerous, seditious, extremist Barack Hussein Obama may have you assassinated overseas, at his word, merely with a raising of his sceptor.

    No judge, no lawyer, no justice, no sanity.

    carbon copy: Blouise, Mespo

  10. kay:

    “Your joke about killing all the lawyers is not funny. That happened in genocidal killings.”


    Of course, that was my point, but I’m sure you knew that.

  11. In my first litigation with DOJ, their counsel wrote that
    “all claims alleging that inaccurate or extraneous information was included in records related to investigation, arrest, detention, or transportation of Mrs. Sieverding by the USMS should be dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6)” because “The PTS is maintained to capture all information necessary to complete the administrative processing, housing, safekeeping, health care, and disposition of individual federal prisoners who are in custody pending judicial proceedings.” but in the Federal Register DOJ used the words “pending criminal proceedings” not “pending judicial proceedings”.

    They stated that my claims that USMS collected and used records about my civil lawsuits should be dismissed because there was an authorized law enforcement function but they didn’t state where such a law enforcement function was authorized.

    It’s just really hard to get a judge to listen when DOJ just misquotes things while at the same time making fun of you and telling the Court not to read what you write.

    Since then I met people on the Internet who are telling me really terrible things about DOJ.

  12. Swarthmore mom,

    Thanks for the good news. As you said, hopefully, it will turn out to be a “good appointment.”

  13. @anon nurse

    I found website saying

    According to the American Bar Association there are currently 1,116,967 lawyers practicing in the United States. That is approximately one lawyer for every 300 people, or approximately .36% of the total population. These statistics relate only to lawyers currently practicing and maintaining their licenses. There are far more with inactive or retired status.

    So if we sent 100,000 abroad we would still have over 1 million in the U.S.

    However that dwarfs the number of people in the Peace Corps which has less than 9,000 current volunteers and trainees.

    It’s interesting that 60% of peace corps volunteers are female. Roughly 75% of lawyers are male.

  14. kay sieverding:

    “My theory is that the U.S. government should create a legal peace corps and ship at least 100,000 of our surplus of U.S. lawyers out to fight injustice in other countries.”



    We have plenty of cleaning up to do at home, first, IMO. I’m not saying that it’s a bad idea — don’t get me wrong — but there are some wicked things going on right here in the ol’ USA, as you well know.

  15. @anon nurse

    I will see what I can find out about Glenn Greenwald. Maybe there was a requirement for purchase of attorney liability insurance that he didn’t want to pay.

    Your quote is consistent with the premise that I as a Pro Se litigant am somehow dangerous because of truthful things I filed in various federal courts.

    The judicial branch of government seems to be controlled by Underwriters at Lloyds London and Mutual Insurance of Bermuda.

    One thing I thought was upsetting about U.S. lawyers is that according to a letter published in the WSJ law blog U.S. law firms provided absolutely no assistance to development of a civil law system in Iraq that would have allowed citizens there to sue government officials.

    My theory is that the U.S. government should create a legal peace corps and ship at least 100,000 of our surplus of U.S. lawyers out to fight injustice in other countries.

  16. Former Federal LEO
    December 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    “…something needs to be done to stem this abuse before it escalates and the judicial branch of government appears the only effective alternative.”


    FF Leo,

    I like your idea — it seems like a good one. What say the lawyers?

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