China Aid Association
(WASHINGTON, DC – September 14, 2009) On Tuesday, September 8, 2009, eleven Members of the House of Representatives signed a Congressional letter to President Hu Jintao, expressing deep concern for the Chinese commitment to rule of law, and calling for the renewal of licenses for Chinese human rights lawyers and the guarantee of legal rights according to the rule of law in China. The US Congressmen’ bipartisan letter addresses the recent arrest of Open Constitution Initiative leader Xu Zhiyong, and the prolonged absence of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.
View the Congressional Letter to President Hu Jintao, September 8, 2009, and read the full text below:Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
September 8, 2009
His Excellency Hu Jintao
People’s Republic of China
Dear Mr. President:
Following the conclusion of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue on July 28, the United States and China issued a joint release affirming “the importance of the rule of law to our two countries.” Given this recent statment, we are writing to express our deep concern over the latest developments regarding numerous Chinese Lawyers.
We have received reports from organizations in touch with these lawyers indication that their law licenses have not been renewed or in some cases have been altogether cancelled by local judicial authorities and lawyers’ associations.
Among the attorneys being prohibited from practicing law are Jiang Tiangyong, Li Heping, Li Xiongbing, Li Chunfu, Wang Yajun, Guo Shaofei, Cheng Hai, Tang Jitian, Yang Huiwen, Tong Chaoping, Liu Guitao, Xie Yanyi, Wen Haibo, Liu Wei, Zhang Lihui, Zhang Chengmao, Zhang Xingshui, Wei Liangyue, Sun Wenbing and Liu Shihui. This list is not exhaustive.
Additionally, it has come to our attention that the highly respected lawyer and founder of the Open Constitution Initiative (OCI), Xu Zhiyong, was detained by Chinese authorities on July 29 and his non-profit legal clinic shuttered. Although we were pleased to learn that Mr. Xu was released on bail on Sunday, August 23, we remain concerned that OCI has been prevented from operating and continuing the important work it has done to advance rule of law in China. Another such prominent lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, has not been heard from since he vanished into Chinese custody six months ago.
As you stated in a June meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, “the rule of law should let the people be masters of the country.” We urge you to demonstrate that China is committed to the establishment of the rule of law.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter.
Frank R. Wolf, Member of Congress (R-VA10)
Bob Inglis, Member of Congress (R-SC4)
Bill Pascrell, Jr., Member of Congress (D-NJ8)
Scott Garrett, Member of Congress (R-NJ5)
Steve Cohen, Member of Congress (D-TN9)
Lloyd Doggett, Member of Congress (D-TX25)
Walk Minnick, Member of Congress (D-ID1)
Christopher H. Smith, Member of Congress (R-NJ4)
Daniel E. Lungren, Member of Congress (R-CA3)
Anh “Joseph” Cao, Member of Congress (R-LA2)
Thaddeus G. McCotter, Member of Congress (R-MI11)
BREAKING UPDATE: ChinaAid received word on September 14, that human rights Attorney Li Dunyong has succeeded in renewing his license to practice law.
ChinaAid thanks the US Congressmen for their bipartisan effort to demonstrate the US commitment to rule of law in China. We further urge the international community to pray for the leaders and security officials in China to abide by the law, and for the victims of religious persecution and human rights violations to act in accordance with the law, while defending their freedoms.