Ai Weiwei’s lawyer evicted from his office
Pressured by the authorities, landlord evicts lawyer. In Guizhou, election commission excludes without motive an independent candidate who wanted to run for the National People’s Congress.
Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Beijing human rights lawyer Liu Xiaoyuan was evicted from his Beijing office following pressures from the authorities on the landlord. Meanwhile, the Guiyang Election Commission “forgot” to include the name of an independent candidate who wanted to run for a seat in the National People’s Congress election.

Liu (pictured) is a friend of Ai Weiwei, one of China’s best-known artist and a dissident. He is also his attorney and has represented a number of human rights activists. In April, he was held by police for five days without explanations or right to communicate with others.

On Wednesday, his law firm was evicted from its current premises after the landlord was placed under huge pressures to throw him out, this according to human rights group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD).

In China, lawyers and law firms (treated as businesses) must face an exam every year to have their licence to practice renewed. Liu passed his exam in July and moved to the current premises when the Beijing Legal Affairs Department told him that his previous office was “too small”, and did not meet the necessary standards. Now he is being evicted.

In another development, human rights activist Xing Qingxian will not be able to run as an independent candidate in 92nd Electoral District in Nanming, Guiyang City (Guizhou).

Xing said he was under constant threats and faced obstacles in his attempt to be nominated. For instance, on 31 October, he was stopped whilst distributing leaflets in a public place because he “affected work order” even though it was already past work hours.

When the list of candidates was announced on Tuesday, his name was not on it even though he met all the requirements to run.

The CHRD slammed the authorities’ decision to pick three candidates— a Chinese Communist Party secretary of a subdistrict office and two local police chiefs—at a meeting Xing did not attend because he had not been informed about it.

Although congressional elections are supposed to be free, the Communist Party has always imposed its will by harassing and boycotting “independent” candidates not anointed by the party.