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Latest Update | Legal practicing certificate revoked – 709 rights lawyer Xie Yang criticized the relevant authorities for going back on their words (21 August 2020)

Xie Yang, a China human rights lawyer who was arrested in the 709 Crackdown, had his legal practicing license revoked by the Hunan Provincial Department of Justice, and his membership in the Hunan Lawyers Association cancelled, meaning that he would no longer have the right to practice as a lawyer.


The Hunan Provincial Department of Justice argued that it reached the decision of revoking Xie’s license as he had already violated the <<Law on Lawyers>> in the past when he handled cases, and in scenarios like constituting turmoil at courts before trial, disrupting order during trials, and making inciteful speeches on the Internet.


Xie pleaded guilty to the charge of subverting of state power, and denounced claims of suffering from torture, in 2017. He was released subsequently. In his recent interview with the i-Cable News, he revealed that, at that time, he made the relevant guilty plea for the purpose of securing a “‘without-penalty-hearing’, that means I can hold my legal practicing license, and it(the authorities) would not use this reason to revoke my license.” As such, he described the authorities’ sudden act of revoking his license as “going back on their words”.


After his release in 2017, Xie still represented various sensitive cases with human rights and civil rights involved, and thus he was not sure which cases crossed the red line leading to the revocation of his license. He noted that in the past, relevant authorities in China would consider the negative manifestation (of revoking licenses) to the relationship with the West, but this is no longer a consideration for the authorities nowadays.


Xie said that he would apply for an administrative review and launch an administration litigation against the court, though he does not envision any likelihood of success.