12/05/2019, 13.18
CHINA
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Chinese human rights lawyers missing from Global Lawyers Forum in Guangzhou

China’s Communist Party instructs participants that “Being a lawyer in China means that your livelihood depends on the Party, so you must obey the Party. The basic conditions for being a lawyer are to love the Party and socialism.” Some 600 lawyers, government officials and representatives from financial circles have been invited.

Guangzhou (AsiaNews) – A Global Lawyers Forum will be held in the Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on 9-10 December, web magazine China Change reports.

Some 600 international guests have been invited, including lawyers, government officials, representatives of financial circles, etc. However, Chinese human rights lawyers will not attend. After being subjected to a harsh crackdown in 2015, including prison and torture, they lost their license to practise.

The lofty aim of this "Forum", which was organised All China Lawyers Association and China’s Justice Ministry, is “to uphold the rule of law spirit of building a community of shared future for humanity, create an international platform for lawyers from all countries for exchange and cooperation, further consolidate the consensus of the international legal profession, guide lawyers from various countries to actively participate in the reform of the global governance system, build a more comprehensive global legal partnership network, and jointly promote the construction of the world’s rule of law civilization.”

In order to ensure the conference’s success, “higher authorities” instructed law firms in Guangzhou to follow orders or else; for instance, “Lawyers are not permitted to express opinions different from those of the Party on the Hong Kong issue”, and “Being a lawyer in China means that your livelihood depends on the Party, so you must obey the Party. The basic conditions for being a lawyer are to love the Party and socialism.”

These orders are mandatory until 15 December.

Wang Yu, a Beijing-based human rights lawyer, was one of the first lawyers to be prosecuted starting in July 2015. She urges the invited guests, including Horacio Bernardes Neto, president of the International Association of Lawyers, to speak out and learn more about the plight of the legal profession in China.

For Tang Jitian, another lawyer whose license was revoked in 2009, “A country that has not yet ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and wantonly violates the rights of lawyers is not qualified to host such an event, let alone prescribe actions for lawyers and even the entire legal profession.”

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