Six Lawyers Appeal to Supreme Court After Being Barred from Their Legal Right to Meet with Clients
(Minghui.org) Six lawyers who tried to defend Falun Gong practitioners in Jilin Province found themselves in legal limbo after the local court refused to accept their defense application. This effectively took away the lawyers’ right to meet with their clients.
To protest the local court’s illegal conduct, the lawyers filed a grievance to China’s Supreme Court, charging a court vice-president, a trial judge and a detention center director with interfering with justice.
CCP's New Plot: Discourage Lawyers from Taking Falun Gong Cases
Now that China’s forced labor camp system has ceased to exist, the Communist regime can no longer bypass legal procedures and arbitrarily send practitioners to labor camps, brainwashing centers and black jails.
The regime has taken up a new approach: they discourage lawyers from taking Falun Gong cases. Using loopholes in procedures, they bar meetings between lawyers and their clients. They intimidate and threaten the lawyers who defend Falun Gong practitioners.
In December 2013, a number of practitioners were arrested by domestic security police in Songyuan City and Qianguo County. From January to April, 2014, the practitioners’ families contacted six lawyers to defend their loved ones.
The initial phase of these cases turned out to be difficult due to roadblocks deliberately set up by the Songyuan City Justice System.
Six Lawyers Prevented from Defending Falun Gong Practitioners
1. “Non-Private Agent” Document
When lawyers Li Guobei and Zhang Keke submitted their client Mr. Cui Hongwen’s files to the Qianguo County Court, they were told to provide “attorney qualification verification,” that is, the approval for representing the case from the justice department. Later, the lawyers were told to provide a “not a private agent” proof from the lawyers’ home city, and they were told that without this proof, participating in the court hearing was out of the question.
In fact, government agencies from different provinces are not obligated to comply with each others' requests. Therefore, the request by Jilin province courts and detention centers to provide proof of “not a private agent” by agencies of another province was unwarranted.
The two lawyers filed several complaints with several agencies in Songyuan, but they got the cold shoulder from everyone, citing leadership instruction.
2. Request for Meeting With Clients DeniedAt the end of February, lawyers Lin Qilei and Guo Haiyue were contacted by practitioners’ families. At the beginning of April, lawyers Hu Guiyun and Xi Xiangdong were also entrusted with representing different practitioners.
But their plight was even worse. Officials from two detention centers in Songyuan City and Qianguo County denied their request to meet with their clients.
3. Refused to Accept Their Defense ApplicationAt the same time, the Songyuan City Intermediate Court and Qianguo County Court both refused to accept the defense application. Several judges made different excuses to dodge their responsibilities.
Lawyers Repeatedly File Complaints—No Results
The lawyers' repeated requests and complaints in a number of Jilin Province government agencies have been met with a blockade.
Now the practitioners’ court hearings are imminent, but their lawyers were cut off by the court. Even their legal rights to meet with their clients are not allowed.
Families Encouraged to Use Local Lawyers
When practitioners’ families requested an answer to their dilemma, authorities from Songyuan City told them if their lawyers could not provide proof from justice departments of their own province, the families would have to switch to lawyers in Jilin Province. This is a deliberate violation of their lawyers’ right to practice law.
Responsible Parties:Hu Fangquan (胡方权), judge: +86-13904380927Xu Hongjie (徐洪杰), vice president of the court: +86-438-2290354, +86-13804383837Liu Guojun (刘国军), Qianguo County Detention Center director: +86-13159585208Shi Hongliang (史宏良), Songyuan City Detention Center director: +86-18804386611