Lawyers Beaten in Chongqing; Colleagues Protest in Beijing
A group of lawyers gathered in Beijing for a legal seminar held a protest against the beating of two of their colleagues in Chongqing, according to this report from Ming Pao. The protesting lawyers called for an investigation into the incident and for protection of lawyers’ rights.
Zhang Kai and Li Chunfu, lawyers for Beijing law firms, were investigating the suspicious death of a detainee at a facility in Chongqing on behalf of the family of the deceased. The official report said the detainee died of a heart attack but the autopsy later found three broken ribs.
Zhang Kai said that when he and Li were carrying out an investigation at the home of the deceased, several police suddenly burst in on the pretext of “checking identity cards.” The police then beat Zhang and Li, and brought them to the nearby police station where they were put in handcuffs and held until after midnight. Police searched their documents and computers. Zhang told the reporter he now has no feeling in his fingers.
The lawyers and academics attending the seminar spoke out against the behavior of the Chongqing Public Security officers. One professor from the Chinese University of Politics and Law said if the rights of lawyers cannot be protected, how can we even talk about protecting the rights of citizens?