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“Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group Strongly Condemns the Persecution of Lawyer Liu Shihui by Guangzhou Police” (Statement)

January 6, 2014

In this statement, the group condemns the detention of Liu Shihui on January 5 when he was inquiring at the Dadong Jie police substation in the Yuexiu District of Guangzhou about three individuals taken into custody the day before. The group calls Liu’s detention unlawful and demands his immediate release.

In mid-December 2013, Liu helped rights defender Chen Jianfang (陈建芳) file separate administrative complaints against the police and border inspection officials at the Baiyun Airport in Guangzhou for preventing her from boarding a flight to Geneva on September 14, 2013. The Baiyun District Court has not accepted the complaints.

Below is a translation of the statement by a group of people:

Chinese lawyers for the protection of human rights statement strongly condemning the persecution of Lawyer Liu Shihui by the Guangzhou police

Liu Shihui used to be a lawyer in Guangzhou. Because he handled rights defence cases including that of Guo Feixiong’s application for a retrial in the matter of his conviction for illegally running a business, he met with retaliation from the Guangzhou judicial administration authorities and was unable to work normally as a lawyer.  Liu Shihui has always worked assiduously for the cause of human rights and the rule of law, and because of his engagement he has repeatedly encountered illegal harassment, beatings, and abduction at the hands of public power, and he was even forced to sell his flat by them, so that he would have to leave Guangdong.

Despite all this, Lawyer Liu did not waver.

On 5 January 2014, Citizens Xiao Qingshan, Zhang Shengyu, Ma Shengfen and others were taken away by the Dadong police station of the Yuexiu Public Security Bureau of Guangzhou Municipality. At around 3 pm, Lawyer Liu Shihui went to the Dadong police station to enquire about the whereabouts of Xiao Qingshan and others; however the police station, without producing any legal formalities whatsoever, restricted his personal liberty. That same evening six Guangzhou lawyers rushed to the Dadong police station to protest and demand that Lawyers Liu Shihui be released. The police station’s vice head Xu Tiehong (police staff no. 020741) claimed, ‘We are handling this case in accordance with law, if you think there’s a problem you can submit a complaint.’ At around 2 am on 6 January, Liu Shihui was transferred from the Dadong police station, as of today his whereabouts are unknown.

In accordance with the administrative law principles of administration in accordance with law and of public administration, the public security bureau should handle administrative matters in accordance with law and in a public manner. As a friend of persons detained and as a citizen, Lawyer Liu Shihui has a right to request that the public security authorities tell him the reason for their detention and their whereabouts. The Public Security Bureau not only failed to discharge its obligation to notify, but also locked up Lawyer Liu Shihui, who had not violated the law in any way whatsoever, and had the audacity to claim that it was ‘handling this case in accordance with law.’ What frightening situation, what madness is this! This kind of police blackens the image of the police in Guangzhou, once at the forefront of  Reform and Opening.

We lawyers are legal workers who have the primary duty to defend the lawful rights and interests of our clients and to ensure that the law is implemented correctly, and to defend social fairness and justice, but now we find that even our own personal security is entirely without safeguards. This is most painful and makes all of us feel cold through and through. We hereby solemnly declare that as professional colleagues of Lawyer Li Shihui’s, his lawful rights and interests are ours, and we experience his repression as though it were happening to ourselves. We will never abandon our resolve to do everything in our power using lawful channels to defend Lawyer Liu Shihui’s rights in accordance with law. Standing on the side of justice and the law, we do not fear. We strongly condemn that evil conduct of the Guangzhou Yuexiu police station that has trampled upon human rights and ignored the law, and issue a serious warning to those thugs who trample upon human rights and ignore the law Justice will vanquish evil and those who have done evil will be held accountable. The cases of Wang Lijun, Li Dongsheng and others serve as lesson and warning.

We demand:

1) That the Guangzhou police release Lawyer Liu Shihui and apologise to him;

2) That the Guangzhou authorities immediately investigate and deal with those responsible for this case of repression.

[Lawyer names]