(Hong Kong—Sept. 14, 2020) Chinese Communist Party (CCP) assigned government-approved lawyers to replace attorneys the families of 12 young Hong Kongers appointed for them. Officials refused to permit family-designated lawyers to meet with clients.
When Attorney Lu Siwei, a family-appointed lawyer, visited China’s Shenzhen Yantian Detention Center requesting a meeting with his client, Chinese police rejected the appeal, requiring that he present a “notarized” letter from the family. Officers further reported that his client has “appointed” two lawyers. Lu has requested a meeting to confirm this claim.
When Ren Quanniu, another human rights lawyer for one detainee, presented a “power of attorney” letter from his client’s family, officials rejected him as well. He expressed concern the Guangdong Province Police Department may handle this as a “special case”: that it may rise to the level of national security and be tried in China.
Lu quoted the police as stating Hong Kong protesters might be charged with “organizing others to cross national borders illegally,” a more serious indictment than the original.
Pursuant to Chinese laws, smugglers are to serve less than one year. The person will serve 2-7 years if accused of organizing others to stow away. One charged as a leader of a smuggling group or someone demonstrating violence while screened, may be imprisoned for life.
Officials have rejected visits for at least three attorneys who have tried to meet with their clients.
(Update by Nancy, China Aid Association Reporter in Taibei and Hong Kong)
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