Law & Crime Politics & Protest SinoBeat

Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang loses licence due to social media posts criticising gov’t

Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang has lost his right to practice as a lawyer as a result of seven Weibo posts he made between 2012 and 2014.

According to a letter released by the Bureau of Justice of Beijing on Wednesday, Pu’s lawyer’s licence has been revoked due to his “intentional crime.” Pu is allowed to appeal the decision within 60 days.

Pu was found guilty at a closed trial last December of “picking quarrels and provoking troubles” as well as inciting ethnic hatred, based on the seven Weibo posts.

Pu Zhiqiang.

Pu Zhiqiang. Photo: Wikicommons.

He was sentenced to three years in prison with a three-year reprieve in December for social media posts critical of the Chinese government.

Pu, who took part in the 1989 pro-democracy student protests in Tiananmen Square, is known for his defence of dissident artist Ai Weiwei and his attack on the country’s notorious re-education camps. The posts which gave rise to his court case included criticisms of the Communist Party and of the government’s treatment of ethnic minorities.

His trial was condemned internationally as an example of the suppression of freedom of expression. The Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2015, released by the US Department of State on Wednesday, noted Pu’s case in a section on Freedom of Speech and Expression.

Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang loses licence due to social media posts criticising gov't