Chinese human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng was sentenced to seven years in prison Thursday for his role as director of Beijing’s Fengrui Law Firm. Zhou was accused of opposing [Reuters report] China’s government and political system. The verdict stated that Zhou encouraged lawyers to highlight sensitive cases and hired protestors to disturb the judicial system. This is the latest in what appears to be a widespread crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists across China.
In April a civil rights lawyer was arrested and released [JURIST report] for posting an image online mocking President Xi Jinping in relation to the Panama Papers release. Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiangon announced in April that his license to practice law was revoked [JURIST report] by the judicial bureau. Chinese lawyer and professor Chen Taihe fled China [JURIST report] in March and arrived in San Leandro, California, after he was detained last July as part of a crackdown on rights lawyers. The crackdown culminated in at least 242 people detained or questioned throughout the country. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed concern [JURIST report] in February over China’s recent crackdown on lawyers and activists. In January Chinese authorities arrested [JURIST report] high profile human rights lawyer Wang Yu and her husband on charges of political subversion.