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[About the Individual: Chen Guangcheng]
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[Spotlight: Selected Case Profiles of Harassed Defense Lawyers in China]

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[A Reference to HRIC Olympic Resources]
[The Issues]
[The Individuals]
[Shi Tao] [Chen Guangcheng]
[Mao Hengfeng] [Hada]
[Yao Fuxin] [Hu Shigen]
[Tenzin Delek Rinpoche] [Shuang Shuying]
[Yang Maodong] [Huang Jinqiu]
[Li Chang] [Nurmemet Yasin]

On this page:
Talk to Your Lawyers' Association
or Bar


Ask the lawyers' association in your locality to:
  • Send appeals to the Chinese authorities

  • Make a public statement supporting Chen Guangcheng and demand his immediate and unconditional release

Sample letter to lawyers' associations:

Printer-friendly letter

[Insert name of Law Council/Bar Association in your country]

[Insert name of director of Law Council/Bar Association]:

I am writing to you in order to express my concern regarding the detention and conviction of the Chinese barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng. He has been detained since March 11, 2006, and is currently being held in Linyi City Prison, Shandong Province, China. Chen was charged with "damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic," and sentenced to four years and three months' imprisonment in August 2006.

Chen was born in 1971 and has been blind since childhood. He is a barefoot lawyer and activist in Shandong Province who has fought for the rights of a variety of people, particularly in rural China. Chen has provided legal advice to farmers and disabled people, assisting them in protecting their rights. However, a recent class action lawsuit that he filed against the city of Linyi over official abuse of the family planning policy led to his current detention.

During his time in prison, he has reportedly been beaten by police officers as well as fellow inmates, and has experienced other inhumane treatment. He has undertaken hunger strikes in protest of this treatment. During Chen's detention and trial, various members of his legal team were harassed and his family also experienced reprisals. For additional information concerning Chen's work and his arrest and conviction, please refer to his webpage through the Human Rights in China Incorporating Responsibility 2008 Campaign, at http://www.ir2008.org.

This case (and other similar cases) should be an issue of great concern to a professional organization like yours that represents lawyers and supports the rule of law. The ability to practice law independently and professionally must be respected. Lawyers should not be subjected to harassment, beatings, or deprivations of liberty while representing clients. Furthermore, legal practitioners and their clients should be guaranteed procedural protections, including the right to meet and prepare a client's defense.

We urge you to write to the President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao, to ask for Chen's release. Additionally, we ask you to make a public statement in support of Chen Guangcheng denouncing his detention and urging the Chinese authorities to allow lawyers to practice without fear of reprisals or prosecution. Your voice, which represents the legal profession, is powerful and will add to the pressure to release Chen and support Chinese lawyers.

Sincerely,
[your signature]


Reference contact information:
President Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China
Yongdingmenjie, Beijing 100032
People's Republic of China


Sample letter for lawyers' associations to the Chinese government:

Printer-friendly letter

[Insert your name, title, and address]

President Hu Jintao
President of the People's Republic of China

Yongdingmenjie, Beijing 100032
People's Republic of China

[Insert name of Law Council/Bar Association you represent] is writing to express our concern regarding the detention and conviction of the barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng. He has been detained since March 11, 2006 and is currently being held in Linyi City Prison, Shandong Province. Chen was charged with "damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic," and sentenced to four years and three months' imprisonment in August 2006.

Chen was born in 1971 and has been blind since childhood. He is a barefoot lawyer and activist in Shandong Province who has fought for the rights of a variety of people, particularly in rural China. Chen has provided legal advice to farmers and disabled people, assisting them in protecting their rights. However, a recent class action lawsuit that he filed against the city of Linyi over official abuse of the family planning policy led to his current detention.

During his time in prison, he has reportedly been beaten by police officers as well as fellow inmates, and has experienced other inhumane treatment. He has undertaken hunger strikes in protest of this treatment. During Chen's detention and trial, various members of his legal team were harassed and his family also experienced reprisals.

The ability to practice law independently and professionally must be respected. Lawyers should not be subjected to harassment, beatings, or deprivations of liberty while representing clients. Furthermore, legal practitioners and their clients should be guaranteed procedural protections, including the right to meet and prepare a client's defense.

[Insert name of Law Council/Bar Association you represent] urges you to immediately release Chen Guangcheng without condition. Chen is being arbitrarily detained for carrying out his legitimate work as a legal practitioner. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, in its 48th session, determined that Chen's detention was arbitrary and that he should be released. The Government of the People's Republic of China should heed the concerns of the international legal community and release Chen Guangcheng.

Sincerely,
[your name and position in the Law Council/Bar Association]
[your signature]

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Publish or Blog for Chen Guangcheng

Do you have a website or a blog? Do you belong to any online communities, such as Facebook or MySpace? Download the banners below and link back to this Take Action website (http://www.ir2008.org) to encourage others to help make a difference.

[Banner Style 1]

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[Banner Style 3] [Banner Style 2]

[Banner Style 4]
[Banner Style 5]

[Banner Style 7]

If you would like to accompany the link with a short profile of Chen Guangcheng, please copy and paste the following text:

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