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To Block Falun Gong Cases, Local Justice Officials Threaten Lawyers’ Parents

On November 25, Lu Tingge, a human rights lawyer in China’s Hebei province, filed a complaint with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Commission for Discipline Inspection of Shijiazhuan city, capital of Hebei, and the city government’s Supervisory Commission. The complaint stated that in August of 2019, two senior officials of the Justice Bureau of the Shijiazhuang City government visited Lu’s parents, carrying two barrels of cooking oil as a gift. Claiming themselves to be Lu’s superiors and colleagues, the officials threatened Lu’s parents with serious consequences if he continued representing Falun Gong cases.

Lu Tingge believes that such a visit constituted a serious infringement on his rights and those of his family and also violated the CCP’s own discipline. In the light of their suspected use of public power for private use, misappropriation of funds and property intended for poverty alleviation, and their violation of citizens’ rights, they should be subject to a serious investigation.

Lu said, “First, their attempt to restrict me from representing Falun Gong cases by itself is illegal; Second, they should have come to me if it’s about my practice, instead of harassing my family. My practice of law has nothing to do with my family. . . . Third, they actually did this in the name of poverty alleviation. This represents a suspected misappropriation of poverty alleviation funds.”

Sui Muqing, a Guangdong based human rights lawyer whose license has been suspended for representing sensitive cases, told Radio Free Asia that, in recent years, the Chinese Communist Party has cracked down severely on human rights lawyers  and the Justice Bureaus have played the role of hatchet man. Sui said that on the surface China’s judicial bureaus protect lawyers when, in fact, their role is to monitor and control lawyers and make sure the lawyers follow the Party and the government.

Lu Tingge is a well-known human rights lawyer. In early March this year, the authorities took Lu away for half a month after he proposed a constitutional amendment. He was also one of the defenders of the Beijing-based human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was arrested for proposing a constitutional amendment.

Source: Radio Free Asia, November 26, 2019