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Bob Carroll
Bob Carroll
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Lawyers In China On Short Leash

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Be thankful you can retain a lawyer in the U.S. for just about any issue or dispute, including those that involve our government. The citizens of China do not have such access according to an Associated Press article: BEIJING – An outspoken Chinese lawyer known for representing clients with complaints of official corruption and police abuse is being stripped of his law license, an official and a colleague said Tuesday.

Be thankful you can retain a lawyer in the U.S. for just about any issue or dispute, including those that involve our government. The citizens of China do not have such ready access according to an Associated Press article: BEIJING – An outspoken Chinese lawyer known for representing clients with complaints of official corruption and police abuse is being stripped of his law license, an official and a colleague said Tuesday.

Gao Zhisheng, who works in Beijing, has defended people who say their land has been seized by corrupt officials and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement who complain of police abuse.

Gao’s law license will be confiscated Wednesday if he did not voluntarily turn it in, said lawyer Li Heping, who handles similar cases and works at another law firm.

The director of lawyers’ affairs at the Beijing Bureau of Justice, who would only give his surname of Cai, confirmed that a decision to remove Gao’s license had been made “some time ago.” Cai refused to confirm that it would be revoked Wednesday.

Gao’s wife, Geng He, said that Gao was out of town and unavailable for comment. Geng said her husband’s firm, which had about 14 lawyers, had already disbanded.

Last month, the Beijing Bureau of Justice ordered Gao’s firm to close for one year on the grounds that it failed to inform authorities of an address change, Li said.