China, Guangcheng (October, 2006)

The Law Society expresses its deep express over the news that lawyer Chen Guangcheng, a lawyer involved in denouncing the use of violence of the authorities of Linyi, Shangdong province, in the implementation of the birth planning policy, has been sentenced to four years and three months imprisonment. According to the information received, on August 24, 2006, Mr. Chen Guangcheng was sentenced for "deliberate destruction of property" and "organising a mob to disrupt traffic" by the Linnan County People's Court. The trial only lasted two hours. The Law Society is particularly concerned that during all the judicial proceedings, it is reported that Mr. Chen was denied access to the legal team attempting to prepare his defense. Thus, the first instance of his trial took place on August 19, 2006, without the presence of his legal team, all of whom were either detained by the police or denied access to the court. These events are linked to the lawyers' discharge of their legitimate professional duties.

Letters of intervention