Lawyer Li Zhuang Released From Prison

Following the release of Li Zhuang from prison in Chongqing, where he was accused of fabricating evidence to defend a client, Global Voices Online translates excerpts from a Sina blogpost by his own defence lawyer, Chen Youxi:

He knows just how many people were concerned for him on the outside, and the price they paid. That he wasn’t ever alone. During the days in which he lost his freedom, he was treated well. He had books to read and movies to watch; although, he wasn’t allowed to read the news or receive any letters. He wrote a fair number of classic style poems, even memorized a few, and the tone, antithesis and imagery in them are not bad. He said that he thanks Chongqing, for giving him the chance to think things over and to recuperate ….

Although Li Zhuang has already been released, I remain worried. The Southern Metropolis Weekly reporter Li Tianqin did an excellent job in her lengthy background report [zh] on Li Zhuang’s legal team and how the role of big-name lawyers in China is changing. The copy editor, Shen Yachuan, did an equally good job of framing the story, however those of us involved in it do not agree. Lawyers in China today remain stifled, and aren’t anywhere as grand as that movie poster of a photo which accompanied the article would have you believe. Making a name for yourself only leads to the onset of tragedy, and friends departed.

The legal world needs to reflect on this. It also needs to show China that, as a group, we have grown and can be trusted.

Li’s last appearance on CDT was in the story of Fang Hong, who was sentenced to a year of labour reform for a satirical microblog post mocking Chongqing Party leader Bo Xilai.


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