06/26/2015, 00.00
CHINA
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China, increase in number of judges who attack defense lawyers

In the past three months there have been four serious cases of attacks on lawyers defending of civil society. Violence the result of ill-prepared judges, often former police officers who undertake a career in the judiciary without any qualifications.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - In the last three months the cases of violence committed by judges against defense lawyers, committed to defending the civil society in China, have multiplied. This was reported by the Chinese Human Rights Defender, denouncing at least four cases of attacks carried out by magistrates against the lawyers.

According to the great expert on China, Willy Lam, the problem stems from the fact that often the judges are former police officers – who in order to pursue a career - take a false law degree and enter the judiciary without knowledge of the law. These would employ thugs to prevent defense lawyers from preparing their cases.

The latest episode took place in Shandong, where a judge and several security officers beat the lawyer Wang Quanzhang and two of his colleagues, Chen Zhiyong and Shi Fulong inside the court. The court even temporarily arrested the three, "guilty" of having submitted an effective defense. The violence occurred on June 18: the judge interrupted Wang, who was explaining his line of defense, several times to expel him from the court without reason.

Outside security officials dragged him into another room of the Dongchengfu People’s Court (in the city of Liaocheng). Here he was beaten, hit in the face and robbed. The lawyer's nose was fractured. At the same time, other officials prevented Chen and Shi  from leaving the building and searched them. All three have remained in custody until late at night.

Between April and May there were three other similar cases. The first in Beijing, in Tongzhou District Court, where two judges and other officers beat Cui Hui, a lawyer of 51 who was protesting against a mistaken judgment issued at the beginning of April 2015. Hospitalized, the woman suffered injuries to her skull and eyes: 40% of her body, according to the medical report, showed signs of violence.

The second event took place at Beijing in early May, when police officers kidnapped and physically assaulted Li Yuhan, 58. The lawyer had presented evidence to the court of the wrong behavior by some public officials involved in a lawsuit. The woman was dragged into the bathroom on May 9, and her assailants repeatedly smashed her head against a toilet. The woman fainted and was hospitalized, treated for a concussion and injuries to her back, head and abdomen.

The last attack was on lawyer Xie Yang, 43, a who was involved in a lawsuit on May 17 in the city of Nanning. More than 20 people, not identified, attacked him with clubs and knives: his right leg was fractured, and the police did not respond to other emergency calls during the attack. Xie and some of his clients were charged with " criminal gatherings." None of the assailants were identified.

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