China Cracks Down On Human Rights Lawyers

Peter Ford from The Christian Science Monitor reports on the closure order on the Beijing-based Yitong lawfirm.

At a hearing next week the Yitong law firm, which has been at the center of several high-profile political cases, will appeal a ruling by a local Justice Department in Beijing suspending the practice for six months, according to managing partner .

“That would kill the firm,” says Mr. Li. “They are distorting facts … to get revenge” for the way the firm’s have criticized or defied government agencies, he charges.

The closure order, which activists here say is unlikely to be overturned at the hearing, is part of “a wider effort to stifle and intimidate lawyers who aspire to defend human rights and the public interest,” says Albert Ho, chairman of the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group in Hong Kong. “This is really a very serious matter.”

For more reactions, see this past CDT post.

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