China: Lawyer Barred from Representing Client by "6-10" Agents
The "6-10" Office—established on June 10, 1999, by former Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Politburo member Luo Gan—was created as an extrajudicial security apparatus of the central government to crack down on the Falun Gong and other banned religious groups. Its methods include surveillance and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners, and subjecting them to "psychological transformation through reeducation."
A Beijing lawyer was barred by agents of the so-called "6-10 Office" in Siping, Jilin Province, from representing a Falun Gong practitioner. Wang's client, is accused of "using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law" (利用邪教组织破坏法律实施罪). Du was tried on September 10 without a lawyer in his defense.
Wang said that on September 9, when he arrived in the Yitong Man Autonomous County Court, he was told by three men that, due to the "special circumstances in Jilin," there are clear rules stipulating that "lawyers from outside may not represent this kind of case, meet with the accused, enter the court room to defend the client, or make photocopies of court documents." Wang said that the men, including a Secretary Cui of the Party Committee of Political and Legal Affairs, who identified themselves as from the county 6-10 office, told him that if he "dared go into the court, they would use forcible measures." Wang said that when he demanded to see the rules to which the men referred, the men told him that the documents were secret, and refused to give him even the document numbers.
That evening, according to Wang, two men who also identified themselves as "6-10 personnel" came to the hotel where he was staying, took his cellphone from him, and told him that he would not be allowed to go to the court the next day. They told Wang that they were "carrying out the order of Secretary Cui." The following morning, the day of the trial, three policemen took Wang to the railway station, put him on a train, and warned him not to take any cases from Jilin Province again.
Wang said, "The whole episode—from preventing me from performing my duties as a defense lawyer, to depriving me of my personal liberty and freedom to communicate, to threatening me not to take any cases in Jilin—is an attempt to create an atmosphere of terror and to send a warning signal to outside lawyers."
"The forcible removal of a lawyer from a case that he is lawfully representing clearly violates procedural rights guaranteed by China's Criminal Procedure Law and the rights of defense lawyers guaranteed by the Lawyers Law," said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC. "We urge the Jilin authorities to investigate possible abuse of official power to deliberately deprive a Falun Gong defendant of due process and legal representation."
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