China, Lawyers representing detained Tibetans (April 2008)

The Law Society expresses its deep concern over reports of escalating human rights violations against lawyers in China. The Law Society intervened by letter to the President of the Chinese Communist Party, to express concerns over the news that human rights lawyers continue to be subjected to persecution and harassment as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties, and that the situation appears to be escalating.

Reports indicate that hundreds of Tibetans were arrested in connection with the March 14, 2008 unrest in Tibet and the violent crackdown on the protests by Chinese security forces. As a result, on April 2, 2008, 18 Chinese lawyers made a public offer to provide legal assistance to the detained Tibetans. According to reports, authorities in China told the members of the group of lawyers that they should not involve themselves in the "Tibet incident". Authorities have questioned lawyers involved in the project, have put them under surveillance, and have tapped their phones.

The Law Society has consistently condemned the persecution and ill-treatment of lawyers in China. Convocation approved the following letter of intervention April 16, 2008.

Letter to President of the Chinese Communist Party