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Latest News | China Civil Rights Lawyer Yang Bin Face Suspesnion of Legal Practicing License (20 August 2020)

China civil rights lawyer Yang Bin is facing suspension of legal practicing license –

she previously expressed support to 2019 Hong Kong Protests, whistleblower Dr. Li Wenliang and legal scholar Xu Zhiyong

China civil rights lawyer Yang Bin is facing a suspension of her legal practicing license recently by the Guangdong Provincial Department of Justice.


Yang became a legal practitioner after she resigned her position as a prosecutor. Throughout the years she has been active in participating in various community and public activities. As she noted, the suspension of her license was related to a civil right case in 2019, where villagers were charged for “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (尋釁滋事罪) after celebrating the return of jail-leavers who were prisoned for clashing with the Government regarding an incident of resumption of land. The law firm where she previously worked in refused to renew her employment contract subsequently, causing her legal practicing license to be at stake.


On its face, her pending suspension relates to her representation of civil rights cases. Yet, some suggest that the true cause is her open support to the 2019 Hong Kong Protests, and also Dr. Li Wenliang, one of the first groups of whistleblowers in China who disclosed the pandemic to the public. On 15 Feb 2020, Yang was arrested for a day for her hiding Xu Zhiyong, a then fugitive legal scholar who initiated the ‘New Citizens Movement’ and participated in a private gathering in Xiamen in 2019 which subsequently led to the ‘1226 Crackdown’.


As she revealed in an interview with Radio Free Asia (RFA), the underlying reason for her pending disqualification is “a fraught practicing environment for lawyers in China, and freedom of speech is not protected in China. The root cause is the same no matter whether they (Li Wenliang and Xu Zhiyong) are related or not.”


In recent years, China has adopted the measures of suspending or revoking practicing license to suppress civil rights and human rights lawyers. In most of the cases, sections are adopted in the “Lawyers Practicing Management Measures” and “Law Firms Management Measures” which were updated 2016 to suspend or revoke lawyers’ right of practice.