The two professors of the Bar Association have been collaborating with the university for years. The university has not invited the president of the association to the closing ceremony of the course. In China, the situation of human rights lawyers is dramatic. In 2015, the authorities made a series of arrests against the so-called 709 group.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Chinese authorities' hostility to human rights lawyers continues. The University of Beijing has expelled two lawyers who have been holding the Common Law course since 2011. The two professors, from Hong Kong, are: Hectar Pun and Cheung Yiu-leung, vice president of the China Continental Rights Concern Group.
The two can no longer hold the course set up by the Bar Association (the largest global organization of legal professionals) for the prestigious city's university. In addition, the university would have asked the president of the association, Philip Dykes, not to attend the closing ceremony of the course.
In a circular invited to members of the Bar Association, Philip Dykes explains: "An invitation letter [to Beijing University] was sent to the Bar secretariat in late May. But, after a day or two, with a phone call from the university they told me I should not come, "wrote Dykes. "No explanation was given".
Following the suspension of the two lawyers, the executive committee of the Bar decided to suspend the course and not to collaborate with the university any longer, defining the decision as "unacceptable".
Cheung Yiu-leung (photo) has followed the events of human rights lawyers arrested in China after the authorities made an unprecedented crackdown in July 2015 against the so-called 709 group. Many of them, like Wang Quanzhang, they are still detained, tortured and have no right to a defense.
Hectar Pun, on the other hand, has defended figures from the pro-democracy world of Hong Kong, including activists from Occupy Mong Kok, former parliamentarian Leung Kwok and legislators Baggio Leung and Yau Wai-ching.
A senior member of the Bar reports that another motive for the move could be the fact that the Association has criticized the joint control plan for the high-speed cross-border rail link between China and Hong Kong. The Bar had stated that the co-location agreement, according to which the mainland laws will apply in a part of the West Kowloon terminal, is in violation of the Basic Law (the constitution of the city, formulated on the basis of British Common law).