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China to punish lawyers hired to defend Hong Kong democracy activists

by Windy Race (2021-01-18)


China has moved to punish two human-rights lawyers hired to defend a group of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists who were arrested while trying to flee to Taiwan by speedboat.

The lawyers, Lu Siwei and Ren Quanniu, said on Tuesday that authorities had informed them that they would lose their licenses.

The pair had tried to help with the case of the 12 Hong Kong citizens who were convicted last month on border violation charges by a court in mainland China's Shenzhen.

Two Chinese lawyers, Lu Siwei and Ren Quanniu, said on Tuesday that authorities had told them that they would lose their licenses.

Ren, pictured arriving at the Shanghai Pudong New District People's Court on December 28, also represented citizen journalist Zhang Zhan

Lu (pictured) and Ren, both based in the Chinese mainland, said they had received letters on Monday from authorities about the loss of their licenses and they had three days to appeal

Families of two of the 12 Hong Kong citizens, who were arrested while trying to flee the city, appointed Lu and Ren to represent them, but the lawyers were denied access to their clients.

Pictured, family members of the 12 speak to journalists at a press conference on December 28

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The 12 Hong Kongers had all been involved in pro-democracy protests in the Asian financial hub before they tried to leave for democratic Taiwan.

Their conviction is the latest issue to raise concern in the former British colony about the preservation of its freedoms.

Lu and Ren, both based in the Chinese mainland, said they had received letters on Monday from authorities about the loss of their licenses and they had three days to appeal.

Both said they intended to do so.

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China's Ministry of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.