‘Chinese lawyers rapped for helping Tibetans’

May 12th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by admin  

Dharamsala, May 12 (IANS) Lawyers who recently agreed to defend Tibetans involved in anti-China protests in Tibet have been threatened by the Chinese government, the Tibetan government-in-exile said here Monday. “The 21 lawyers who announced that they would provide legal services to Tibetans have been severely suppressed by the Chinese authorities,” a spokesman of the Tibetan government-in-exile said.

“Zhou Yongkang, party secretary of the Law Commission, has sent a letter to all law firms where these lawyers are working,” he said.

“The letter says ‘the lawyers from your law firm are involved in representing sensitive cases so the annual inspection and registration of your firms is postponed’,” the spokesman said.

In a written statement, the Tibetan government-in-exile said: “We are equally encouraged to note that the lawyers, while expressing their serious concern for the well-being of the arrested Tibetans, have also appealed to the authorities to obey the constitution and follow legal procedures in dealing with those arrested.”

Violence erupted in Lhasa and several other places in Tibet after anti-China protests on Tibet’s 49th uprising day March 10. The incidents attracted international attention.

The Tibetan government-in-exile says 203 TibetanS have been killed, 1,000 injured and 5,714 detained since then. Chinese authorities, however, put the figures much lower.

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