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Appeal Regarding Rights Lawyer Cheng Hai’s September 5 Hearing

September 3, 2014

On August 22, 2014, lawyer Cheng Hai received a notice from the Changping District Bureau of Justice in Beijing informing him that the Bureau planned to administratively suspend his license to practice for one year. The reason given for the suspension was that Cheng had “disrupted court order during a trial” and “interfered in the normal functioning of prosecutorial activities" when he was defending New Citizens Movement activist Ding Jiaxi. Cheng requested and was granted a hearing, which took place on September 5, 2014 at the Sunshine Halfway Home. According to information online provided by rights activist Hu Jia, nearly 100 people came to the hearing location to show their support for Cheng, and “a majority of them were picked up by the police.”

In a statement issued by lawyer Xie Yanyi prior to the hearing, Xie urges fellow lawyers and citizens to either observe the hearing to support Cheng, or, show solidarity with him in other ways. Lawyer Xie states that "The results of this case could impact the professional fate of all lawyers, and the rights and dignity of citizens. If we allow government officials to do whatever they want, then the professional prospects for Chinese lawyers are bleak, and so is the prospect for rule of law in China.” He goes on to say, “If you do not stand up today, you might find that you will be unable to stand up tomorrow.”