01/04/2021, 09.49
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Activists sentenced in Shenzhen: family lawyer license revoked

He is charged with making "inappropriate" statements and damaging the image of the legal sector. Relatives of prisoners who arrived in Guangdong: they ask to meet their relatives and want to appeal. The inaction of the Hong Kong authorities.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Chinese authorities have revoked the license of the lawyer who assisted the families of the 12 Hong Kong citizens arrested four months ago by the Guangdong Coast Guard.

The Minister of Justice of the south-western province claims that lawywer Lu Siwei, originally from Sichuan; is responsible for making "inappropriate" statements on the web, seriously damaging the image of the legal sector and having a "negative impact on society". He now has three days to contest the revocation of his license to practice.

On December 30, judges at the Yantian District Court in Shenzhen sentenced 10 of the 12 democratic activists jailed in China since August with sentences ranging from a minimum of seven months to a maximum of three years. The charge against them is that they illegally crossed Chinese territorial waters while attempting to flee to Taiwan. The last two suspects, who are minors, have been repatriated to Hong Kong and will be tried by a local court for having "absconded".

The fugitives had already been indicted in Hong Kong for participating in democracy demonstrations in 2019 or for violating the new security law. The Chinese government prevented the 12 from seeing their family members and being assisted by lawyers chosen by the families: Lu Siwei is one of them.

Meanwhile, three family members of the detainees have arrived in Shenzhen. According to Chu Hoi-dick, a former pro-democracy parliamentarian, they completed the 14-day quarantine for the coronavirus yesterday and are asking to meet with their relatives, or at least to have information on their detention status.

So far the Chinese authorities have not spoken. Hong Kong Democratic Front officials urged the City Security Bureau to provide assistance to the families of the 10, especially with regard to the possibility of filing an appeal for sentencing.

The authorities of the former British colony - supported by the pro-Beijing establishment - have replied that they do not want to assist the condemned directly: at the most they say they are ready to find and transmit information on the procedures to be respected in the mainland judicial and penitentiary system.

 

(Photo Rthk)

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