Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

15 July 2009

Human rights lawyers disbarred in China

Human rights lawyers disbarred in China
Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has had his professional license revoked by the Justice Bureau of Beijing Municipality. Amnesty International has condemned the decision.

“There are only a tiny group of lawyers left in China who are brave enough to take the risk of representing victims of human rights violations. A further crackdown against human rights lawyers is a major blow not only to these legal professionals but to the human rights defence movement in China,” said Roseann Rife, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific deputy director.

There are more than 140,000 lawyers and 14,000 law firms in China but only a small proportion take the risk of taking on cases involving human rights violations, including providing legal aid to Tibetans who were detained in connection with the March 2008 protests. Others cases these lawyers worked on involved Falun Gong practitioners, human rights defenders detained for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression and families of victims affected by the baby milk powder scandal.

The Justice Bureau of Beijing Municipality issued a notice stating 53 lawyers’ licences, including Jiang Tianyong’s, were revoked  in accordance to  articles  23(1)(3) and 23(1)(4) of Methods for the Management of Lawyers’ Practice.

The justice bureau also issued a list of 24 Beijing-based lawyers who will not have their licences re-registered. According to the list these lawyers “failed their assessments” and include prominent human rights lawyers, Li Heping, Li Xiongbing, Li Chunfu, Wang Yajun and Guo Shaofei.   

Without a license, lawyers are restricted in their ability to represent those seeking to obtain justice and redress for human rights violations.

Issue

Activists 
Freedom Of Expression 
Prisoners Of Conscience 

Country

China 

Region

Asia And The Pacific 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

16 October 2014

Repressive and discriminatory legislation enacted over the last 18 months in Uganda has led to increasing state repression, violence and homophobic and gender-based... Read more »

17 October 2014

Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but... Read more »

19 October 2014

The South Korean government must end the exploitation and widespread use of forced labour of migrant agricultural workers, Amnesty International said in a new report that... Read more »

20 October 2014

An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence... Read more »

17 October 2014

Testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that Egyptian security forces used excessive force to crack down on recent student demonstrations at Alexandria... Read more »