China Shuts Down Legal Center, Revokes Licenses
Beijing officials shut down a legal research center led by activist lawyers Friday, while China revoked the licenses of more than 50 lawyers, many known for their human rights cases.
The moves appear to be a new government push to oversee Chinese activist lawyers, who run the risk of being detained, harassed, attacked and threatened with disbarment for their work. China is also preparing for the communist state’s 60th anniversary on Oct. 1 — a particularly sensitive period when dissent is not tolerated.
About 20 officials from Beijing’s Civil Affairs Bureau showed up Friday morning at the offices of the Gongmeng rights group’s legal research center and confiscated computers and other equipment, said office manager Tian Qizhuang. They also questioned researchers and other employees on the nature of their work.