Just 40 years ago, as my family and I were completing a very pleasant and productive academic year in Japan, we had our first opportunity to visit China. We had been waiting to do so for more than a decade. For me, the highlight of the visit was a four-hour dinner conversation with Prime Minister Zhou Enlai.
Posts Tagged ‘ lawyers ’
Amid so much uncertainty over the fate of human rights advocate Chen Guangcheng and his family, the role that luck played in Chen’s saga is among the things that stand out.
Following blind ‘barefoot lawyer’ and activist Chen Guangcheng’s escape from prolonged confinement, and the continuing developments in his story, Professor Jerome A. Cohen has been actively responding to media requests for information. We will provide links to many of the reports on this story in which he has been cited or interviewed here.
[Photo: Cohen visits Chinese "barefoot lawyer" Chen Guangcheng in his rural village home in 2003. (© Joan Lebold Cohen)]
On December 22, 2006, a Beijing court sentenced Chinese rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng to three years in prison for “inciting subversion”, the charge frequently used to silence independent voices like that of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo. But the court suspended Gao’s sentence subject to five years of probation. What seemed like a light sentence, however, soon turned into a nightmare of “disappearances” and obscene tortures.
Before the end of this month, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will review the second draft of a proposal for comprehensive revisions to China’s Criminal Procedure Law. Despite some tweaks made under public pressure, it’s clear the revisions will be one step forward and two steps back for justice, at least for the politically controversial.