Human Rights Monitoring Group Update – December 2016

Posted: 12/12/2016

Human Rights Monitoring GroupThe Law Society’s Human Rights Monitoring Group is a group of appointed benchers, established in 2006, to monitor human rights violations that target members of the legal profession and the judiciary as a result of the discharge of their legitimate professional duties.

On December 12, 2016, the Law Society released a public statement expressing grave concern about the following human rights lawyer:

Xia Lin in China

Xia Lin is a prominent human rights lawyer whose clients include artist Ai Weiwei, fellow human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, and human rights defender Guo Yushan.

On September 22, 2016, Xia Lin was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

In November 2014, Xia Lin was detained by Beijing police. He was charged with fraudulently obtaining 10 million yuan – later reduced to 4.8 million yuan. Xia Lin’s trial commenced in June 2016.

It is our understanding that the charges against Xia Lin were based on allegations that he had coerced individuals to lend him money to pay off gambling debts.

Xia Lin pleaded not guilty to the charges and the individuals he is alleged to have borrowed money from have not filed criminal or civil suits against him.

The Law Society is deeply concerned about Xia Lin’s case.

Read the Law Society’s full public statement on Xia Lin of China.