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Rights organization Amnesty International (AI) yesterday accused the Chinese government of unleashing “an uncompromising series of measures intended to rein in the legal profession and suppress lawyers pursuing human rights cases.”
The state’s efforts to control lawyers have intensified over the past two years and have been stepped up further in recent months, the London-based rights body says in a report titled Against the Law – Crackdown on China’s Human Rights Lawyers Deepens.
“The crackdown stems from government fears of a ‘Jasmine Revolution’ inspired by the Arab Spring, AI says, adding that it has led to the detention of scores of government critics, activists and netizens since February.
“Human rights lawyers are subject to escalating silencing tactics from suspension or revoking of licenses, to harassment, enforced disappearance or even torture,” said Catherine Baber, AI’s Asia Pacific deputy director.