Legitimacy of a Legal Center (Updated)

Global Times reports on the closure of the women’s legal aid center at Beijing University:

Guo heard the news over phone, not from the authorities. “Your legal aid organization has been scrapped by Peking University? Is that true? I’m watching it being broadcast on television in the Metro right now,” a journalist friend shouted in the phone.

Guo was shocked by the news. She couldn’t understand how the parent organization, which had built, supported, and took pride in its achievements since it was established, could abandon its own creation in this manner.

“Scrapped” is a too strong a word for the once-honored center, according to Guo. It is not “as if we have done something wrong,” she said. She was so stricken that she cried for almost three days, she said.

The notice of the center’s termination has led to a heated discussion in academic circles and on the Internet.

Huang Xuetao, a graduate of PKU law school who works as a lawyer in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province wrote an open letter to PKU and the Principal Zhou Qifeng, asking him to publicly declare the reasons for termination of the center.

Update: Also related, see “Why the chill in the air for NGOs?” from the NGOs in China blog.

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