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    » 04/14/2009, 00.00


    Defense attorney for Falun Gong beaten bloody by police

    A brutal attack yesterday in Chengdu, in broad daylight. When the police arrived, the attackers said they were public officials, and no charges were filed. An alarming rise in violence and intimidation against lawyers who defend human rights.

    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The lawyer Cheng Hai was beaten bloody late yesterday morning in Chengdu, by public officials, only because - the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders claims - he defends a follower of the religious group Falun Gong.

    Cheng was going to see the mother of Tao Yuan, a member of the group Falun Gong who is in prison in Chengdu for "publicizing an evil cult." Cheng is asking that he be released for medical reasons. But he was surrounded by 4-5 people who violently beat him, continuing to kick him even when he was on the ground.

    The lawyer called the police, but the attackers said they were officials from the Jinyang General Management Office (district of Wuhou, Chengdu), a government agency charged with coordinating the various offices of the police and the courts, and the ultimate guarantor of social order. They called the incident a "misunderstanding." The police left without taking any report of the beating.

    Cheng is an expert lawyer, a member of the Yitong law firm in Beijing until a few months ago, when he and some other colleagues were dismissed for defending human rights and asking for the direct election of the heads of the Beijing Lawyer’s Association, who are currently appointed by the Communist Party.

    Wang Songlian, CHRD’s research coordinator, points out that the beatings took place "on the same day the ‘National Human Rights Action Plan of China’ was launched [by the government]." The group charges that violence is increasing in the country against lawyers who defend human rights, as in the recent beating of Yang Zaixin (in the photo), who helps farmers in the county of Hepu (Guangxi) who have been deprived of their land.

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    See also

    13/03/2009 CHINA
    Human rights award for Liu Xiaobo and for Charter 08
    The prize for Liu, under house arrest since December, is intended to recognize his struggle for human rights and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, the family of the activist lawyer Gao Zhisheng has fled to the United States, and is denouncing constant intimidation and torture.

    28/04/2009 CHINA
    Falun Gong members commemorate 10 years of persecution in China
    Public demonstrations in Asia and the world against the Chinese Communist Party. In 1999, the group had more than 70 million members in China, and conducted a protest demonstration. Since then, the group has been banned and its members punished with imprisonment and torture.

    21/02/2006 CHINA
    Gao: "Anti-Christian persecution destroys purest values"

    After two years of work in the northern province of Xinjiang, Gao Zhisheng, lawyer and human rights activist, published a long report about the brutal persecution suffered by unofficial Christians and embraced their faith. This is the third in a series of articles about Gao Zhisheng, who has been on a hunger strike for some weeks now to call for human rights in China.

    20/02/2006 CHINA
    Gao's first challenge: government must stop anti-Falun Gong persecution

    In his first open letter to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao, Gao Zhisheng, lawyer and human rights activist, denounced the brutal repression of the Falun Gong and called for its immediate halt.

    02/03/2006 CHINA
    Gao Zhisheng and his group, "the hope of post-Communist China"

    The lawyer and human rights activists gathered around him are the "conscience and future of China when the Communist Party collapses". The leadership "is afraid of them and therefore seeks to silence them."

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