Beijing-based journalist Paul Mooney talks with Australia’s ABC News about the recent crackdown targeting rights lawyers and activists, which he calls the worst crackdown on dissent since 1989. Listen to the interview here:
STEPHEN LONG: What kind of people are being targeted? What professions now?
PAUL MOONEY: Primarily you know two categories. One is lawyers, what we call rights lawyers here. The other group is human rights activists. The lawyers seem to be taking the brunt.
STEPHEN LONG: What is the intent of the Chinese authorities in targeting human rights lawyers?
PAUL MOONEY: I think it’s two things. China had made some progress in the rule of law. I think that the Communist Party felt it had gone too far, that expectations were rising. They decided they needed to put their foot down, put a stop to it.
The other issue is the Jasmine Revolution. There’s fears that what happened in Tunisia and Egypt and other places may happen here. So they’re really trying to nip it in the bud.