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Thursday, September 09, 2010

China's blind activist lawyer, Chen Guangcheng, released from prison

Christian Science Monitor: Chen was a leader of the first generation of Chinese civil rights activists, encouraged by signs that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao wanted to widen avenues of legal redress for injustice so as to dampen popular discontent.

The government changed tack, however, and in 2006 Chen was arrested. A prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was also jailed, as was another member of his firm Guo Feixiong, who had represented villagers alleging official corruption. Mr. Gao has now disappeared, and is believed to be in government hands. Mr. Guo remains in prison.

Sometimes the authorities simply close law practices that do not bow to their demands. The Beijing-based An Hui firm that refused to sack Tang Jitian, a lawyer who lost his license last April after representing members of the outlawed Falun Gong religious movement, failed its annual government check and is no longer allowed to operate. Read more...

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