Date: February 21, 2022
|The surveillance camera outside lawyer Lu Siwei's door
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
(Chengdu, Sichuan Province—February 21, 2022) On February 18, human rights lawyer Lu Siwei exposed on social media that the apartment complex management office sent workers to install a surveillance camera pointed at his door.
When Lu asked them why they wanted to monitor him, they said it was an order from the residential community office. He reminded them it’s illegal to do so, then one of them argued that this is to improve community security. Mr. Lu responded with the following three points:
1. They commit the crime of “illegal use of espionage equipment” if they install any surveillance camera without following legal procedures
2. If they want to look for trouble, I will fight for my rights vigorously
3. I urge the apartment complex management office to remove the surveillance camera within 48 hours, otherwise, there will be
|Apartment complex staff installing the camera
(Photo: ChinaAid source)
Mr. Lu Siwei is a renowned human rights lawyer in Sichuan. He has provided legal aid to many human rights victims over the years, specializing in areas like freedom of speech, forced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, and forced demolition. He criticizes social injustice and speaks up for the sufferings of vulnerable groups. He defended Mr. Zhang Junyong for his June 4th Wine Bottle Case. He also defended human rights lawyer Chen Jiahong, who was charged with “inciting subversion of state power”. Because of his work, he was oppressed and punished by the Sichuan Province legal system and its lawyers’ association. In June 2020, human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng was sentenced to 4 years by Xuzhou Intermediate Court under the charge of “inciting subversion of state power”. Mr. Lu was his defense lawyer in the second trial. In August 2020, 12 Hong Kong activists were detained in the Yantian Detention Center. Mr. Lu visited them and provided legal support. He was the defense lawyer of one of the detainees Mr. Qiao Yingyu. In mid-October 2020, Mr. Lu traveled to Chu Xiong (Yunnan Province) to work as Mr. Wang Zang’s lawyer and visit his children. Mr. Wang was charged with “inciting subversion of state power”.
Mr. Lu’s work caused the officials to retaliate. On January 4, 2021, the Sichuan Provincial Department of Justice sent him a notice to suspend his lawyer’s license and impose a fine, under the excuse of “violating professional conduct and posting comments with negative social impacts online.” He made a statement after he received the notice:
Obviously, this is their retaliation against me because I delegated the case of 12 Hong Kong activists, and accepted interviews to talk about the case. It is illegal for the Sichuan Provincial Department of Justice to suspend my license without even opening a case. It’s clearly an abuse of power. I will request a public hearing session and debate with them.
A public hearing was held on January 13, 2021. Mr. Lu lost his freedom at the entrance as he was surrounded by more than 10 people. 3 or 4 people dragged him into the building. His lawyers Cheng Hai and Xie Yanyi were not allowed to get in to attend the hearing. Plain-clothed police officers gathered at the entrance. More than 10 police cars were parked there. Human rights lawyers Wang Yu and Ren Quanniu were brutally treated when they took pictures.
On January 15, 2021, Mr. Lu received the notice of “administrative punishment decision” from the Sichuan Provincial Department of Justice, and his lawyer’s license was suspended.
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