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China wants to withdraw license from Hong Kong activists’ lawyers

Mainland Chinese authorities threatened to withdraw the license to two lawyers who helped the 12 Hong Kong activists, including a Luso-Chinese, detained in August at sea.

According to the Chinese human rights organization Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, Lu Siwei today received a notification from the Sichuan Department of Justice in southwest China.

The document accused the lawyer of making “inappropriate” comments on the Internet, “seriously damaging” the profession’s reputation and creating a “nefarious impact” on society.

Another lawyer, Ren Qiuannu, had received a notification on December 31 from the Henan Department of Justice in central China, accusing him of breaking the law by accepting a case involving “an evil religious organization”.

Threats to withdraw from the legal license are “obviously revenge” for being involved in the case of the 12 Hong Kong activists, defended the # save12hkyouths campaign (“save the 12 Hong Kong youth”).

In a statement, the movement underlines that Lu Siwei and Ren Qiuannu agreed to represent the protesters at the request of family members, a nomination refused by judicial authorities in Shenzhen, a Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong.

The campaign accuses China of using the two lawyers as “an example to threaten other human rights defenders” and getting “no one else to dare to participate in politically sensitive cases”.

Eight of the 12 youths, including the Portuguese-Chinese Tsz Lun Kok, were found guilty of “illegal crossing” of the waters of mainland China and sentenced to seven months in prison on 30 December. Two of the activists were also found guilty of organizing illegal border crossing and sentenced to between two and three years in prison. The remaining two young men were returned to Hong Kong, as they were minors.

The # save12hkyouths campaign told Lusa that Tsz Lun Kok’s mother is currently in Shenzhen, quarantining due to the covid-19 pandemic, in order to visit the activist.

The detainees, most of whom were linked to last year’s anti-government protests in Hong Kong, had started their journey to Taiwan, where they are thought to be seeking asylum, when the speedboat they were following was intercepted on August 23 by the coast guard. Chinese.

The young man had already been detained on November 18, 2019 in Hong Kong, and later released, during the police siege of the Polytechnic University of that territory, being accused of riot, for allegedly participating in a maneuver to divert attention from security forces. security in order to allow refugee students to flee inland.

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Generalist media, focusing on the relationship between Portuguese-speaking countries and China.

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