(Clearwisdom.net) Several years ago the Shanghai Bar Association gave oral notification to all of its attorneys, forbidding them from defending Falun Gong practitioners in court. The penalty for defending Falun Gong practitioners is an immediate cancellation of their attorney's license.

Because I had to hire an attorney for a Falun Gong practitioner, I went to a famous law office for consultation. When I asked which chapter of the law had been violated if a Falun Gong practitioner distributed truth-clarification materials, one attorney claimed that it was article 300 of the criminal code, though he couldn't elaborate on what it was. I also asked, "Which legal document of our country defines Falun Gong as a cult? Could you please show it to me?" The attorney replied, "There is no such legal document." I then said, "Falun Gong is good. Falun Gong advocates Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. How can it be considered a cult?" Another attorney who had a doctorate degree answered, "According to the law, what you say is right. However, the authorities' power is above the law in China. Therefore, it is hard to say." I asked again, "In your words, you are not able to legally defend Falun Gong practitioners." They responded, "No one, neither the attorney's office nor an attorney would dare to defend a Falun Gong practitioner, because attorneys have to earn money to support their families."