The Chinese government is carrying out another infamous sweep of human rights lawyers and activists with over 100 people arrested nationwide. The authoritarian communist regime has offered preposterous excuses for the arrests but the message is clear: human rights will not be tolerated in the worker’s paradise that is China. Indeed, with pollution and corruption choking the life out of the public, the communist rulers still view human rights lawyers as the priority danger for the country.
The chief targets of the regime include members of the Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing, which as been at the forefront in pushing the meager legal rights in China to check government excesses. Six lawyers include Wang Yu, her husband, Bao Longjun, law firm director, Zhou Shifeng, his assistant, Liu Sixin, and Fengrui lawyers Huang Liqun and Wang Quanzhang. They are accused of “seriously violating the law” without any other explanation. Two other law firms were searched in what the Chinese police is calling a “major criminal gang” operating in conjunction with the Fengrui law firm since 2012. The government said that Wu Gan masterminded the gang’s activities in the name of “rights defense, justice and public interest.”
However, if you read more carefully the authoritarian purpose becomes more clear. The government says that Fengrui lawyers were behind over 40 incidents during the last three years that “severely disrupted public order.” Nothing disrupts the regime as human rights protests.
The human rights and environmental activists in China are an inspiration for public interest lawyers around the world. These brave men and women put themselves and their families at risk to fight for the most basic legal and environmental protections against a massive tyrannical system. The arrest of these lawyers is clearly meant to send a message to the entire Chinese bar that they should not confuse the Chinese legal system with a real functioning system of laws. It remains the extension of the Communist Party and it is used to silence anyone threatening the Party.
Source: ABA Journal