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On this page:
Encourage your Local Bar Association to Take a Stand for Lawyers in China

If you are a lawyer and a member of your local bar association, encourage the Bar and its committees to support lawyers in China and learn more about restrictions on those lawyers:: Sample text:


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Write to Bar Associations in China

Sample Letter to the All-China Lawyers' Association:

Printer-friendly letter

Yu Ning
President
All-China Lawyers' Association

5th Floor of Qinglan Mansion
No.24 Dongsi Shitiao
Dongcheng District
Beijing 100007
People's Republic of China


Dear Sir:

[Insert Your Name/ Name of Bar Association you represent] [is/am] writing to express [my/our] concern regarding ongoing reports of harassment and detention of, and even personal assaults on, lawyers in China.

The ability to practice law means at its core that lawyers must act independently and cannot be punished for carrying out their professional duties. Lawyers cannot be subjected to harassment, beatings, or deprivations of liberty while representing clients. Furthermore, legal practitioners and their clients must be guaranteed procedural protections, including the right to meet and prepare a client's defense.

The detention or harassment of lawyers in China for providing a zealous defense of their clients is of serious concern. More serious, however, are reports of physical attacks carried out on lawyers in China. In 2007, lawyers continued to be targeted for attacks. For example, Li Heping (李和平), a Beijing-based rights-defense lawyer, was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured with electric rods by a group of unidentified masked men on September 29, 2007, the weekend before National Day celebrations in China. Li was held in a basement outside Beijing until early September 30, when he was dumped in the woods outside the city. As he was beaten, Li was told to leave Beijing with his family or face the consequences. When he returned home, Li discovered that his license to practice law and other personal belongings were missing. His computer had also been completely erased.

This attack and others like it appear to be linked in some way to the authorities, which raises serious concerns about the will and ability of the government to protect lawyers' personal safety and right to practice law.

[I/ Bar Association you represent] urge[s] the All-China Lawyers' Association to issue a resolution condemning these attacks and other forms of intimidation and harassment as one means of advocating for the legal profession in China, and to support a stronger, more independent and effective Bar.

Sincerely,

[your name/ Bar Association name and representative]

[your signature]


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Write to the International Olympic Committee

Write to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging it to monitor the situation for lawyers in China and hold Beijing to its Olympics promises. Contact the IOC online at their official website.

Sample letter to the International Olympic Committee:

Printer-friendly letter

International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
1007 Lausanne
Switzerland

Dear Committee Members:

I am writing to express my concern regarding the ongoing harassment and detention of lawyers in China.

In 2001, Liu Jingmin, a Beijing Olympic official, stated that the "Games are an opportunity to foster democracy, improve human rights and integrate China with the rest of the world." An independent bar is fundamental to achieving that goal, and yet lawyers in China are prevented from doing their jobs through harassments, intimidations, beatings, and detentions.

The detention or harassment of lawyers in China for providing a zealous defense of their clients is of serious concern. More serious, however, are reports of physical attacks carried out on lawyers in China. In 2007, lawyers continued to be targeted for attacks. For example, Li Heping (李和平), a Beijing-based rights-defense lawyer, was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured with electric rods by a group of unidentified masked men on September 29, 2007, the weekend before National Day celebrations in China. Li was held in a basement outside Beijing until early September 30, when he was dumped in the woods outside the city. As he was beaten, Li was told to leave Beijing with his family or face the consequences. When he returned home, Li discovered that his license to practice law and other personal belongings were missing. His computer had also been completely erased.

I urge you to look seriously at the situation of lawyers in China, which remains dangerous. Hold China to its promise for a "Free and Open" Olympics by demanding the release of lawyers in China, like Chen Guangcheng, Guo Feixiong, and other lawyers in prison. We especially urge the immediate release of all individuals in who the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has determined to be in detention arbitrarily and in violation of international norms. These individuals include: Shi Tao, Chen Guangcheng, Yao Fuxin, Hu Shigen, and Li Chang.

Sincerely,
[your signature]

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Bring the Situation of Lawyers to the Attention of International Experts and Legal Advocates

Sample letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers:

Printer-friendly letter

UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers
c/o Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Office at Geneva
8-14 Avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland
E-mail: urgent-action@ohchr.org

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to bring to your attention the ongoing harassment and detention of lawyers in China.

In 2001, Liu Jingmin, a Beijing Olympic official, stated that the "Games are an opportunity to foster democracy, improve human rights and integrate China with the rest of the world." An independent bar is fundamental to achieving that goal, and yet lawyers in China are prevented from doing their jobs through harassments, intimidations, beatings, and detentions.

The ability to practice law means at its core that lawyers must act independently and cannot be punished for carrying out their professional duties. Lawyers cannot be subjected to harassment, beatings, or deprivations of liberty while representing clients. Furthermore, legal practitioners and their clients must be guaranteed procedural protections, including the right to meet and prepare a client's defense.

The detention or harassment of lawyers in China for providing a zealous defense of their clients is of serious concern. More serious, however, are reports of physical attacks carried out on lawyers in China. In 2007, lawyers continued to be targeted for attacks. For example, Li Heping (李和平), a Beijing-based rights-defense lawyer, was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured with electric rods by a group of unidentified masked men on September 29, 2007, the weekend before National Day celebrations in China. Li was held in a basement outside Beijing until early September 30, when he was dumped in the woods outside the city. As he was beaten, Li was told to leave Beijing with his family or face the consequences. When he returned home, Li discovered that his license to practice law and other personal belongings were missing. His computer had also been completely erased.

This attack and others like it appear to be linked in some way to the authorities, which raises serious concerns about the will and ability of the government to protect lawyers' personal safety and right to practice law.

I urge you to monitor this harassment and reports of attacks, and to take action by calling on the Chinese government to release lawyers in detention, including Chen Guangcheng, Guo Feixiong, and others, in order to support a stronger, more independent and effective Bar.

Sincerely,
[your signature]


Sample letter to the International Commission of Jurists:

Printer-friendly letter

Nicholas Howen
Secretary General
International Commission of Jurists

P.O. Box 91
33, rue des Bains
1211 Geneva 8
Switzerland
E-mail: info@icj.org

Dear Colleague:

I am writing to bring to your attention the ongoing harassment and detention of lawyers in China.

In 2001, Liu Jingmin, a Beijing Olympic official, stated that the "Games are an opportunity to foster democracy, improve human rights and integrate China with the rest of the world." An independent bar is fundamental to achieving that goal, and yet lawyers in China are prevented from doing their jobs through harassments, intimidations, beatings, and detentions.

The ability to practice law means at its core that lawyers must act independently and cannot be punished for carrying out their professional duties. Lawyers cannot be subjected to harassment, beatings, or deprivations of liberty while representing clients. Furthermore, legal practitioners and their clients must be guaranteed procedural protections, including the right to meet and prepare a client's defense.

The detention or harassment of lawyers in China for providing a zealous defense of their clients is of serious concern. More serious, however, are reports of physical attacks carried out on lawyers in China. In 2007, lawyers continued to be targeted for attacks. For example, Li Heping (李和平), a Beijing-based rights-defense lawyer, was kidnapped, beaten, and tortured with electric rods by a group of unidentified masked men on September 29, 2007, the weekend before National Day celebrations in China. Li was held in a basement outside Beijing until early September 30, when he was dumped in the woods outside the city. As he was beaten, Li was told to leave Beijing with his family or face the consequences. When he returned home, Li discovered that his license to practice law and other personal belongings were missing. His computer had also been completely erased.

This attack and others like it appear to be linked in some way to the authorities, which raises serious concerns about the will and ability of the government to protect lawyers' personal safety and right to practice law.

I urge you to monitor this harassment and reports of attacks, and to take action by calling on the Chinese government to release lawyers in detention, including Chen Guangcheng, Guo Feixiong, and others, in order to support a stronger, more independent and effective Bar.

Sincerely,
[your signature]

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