Human Rignts Lawyers' Database

Xia Lin (夏霖)

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Work location



Date of birth



Current status

Case closed at second trial



Xia is a renowned criminal defense lawyer practicing law at Beijing Hua Yi law firm. He graduated from Southwest University of Political Science and Law in 1988. He volunteered to represent for the defendants in the Cui yingjie case.

Xia was taken away from home by police without warrant on 8 November 2014, soon after he took up the case of Guo Yushan, an activist targeted by the authorities in a series of NGOs crackdowns at the time.

He was convicted for “fraud and deception” and was given 12-year imprisonment on 22 September 2016, by far the heaviest among rights lawyers persecuted.

It is understood that the case has been controversial not only in the fact Xia had been denied access to his lawyers during his detention, but more fundamentally in its nature.  The defence lawyers have convincingly pointed out that money-at-stake, despite its large amount, had been proved to be loans between friends and partners done in the civic arena with no major gripe among them.

The second trial of Xia Lin was completed on the morning of 21 April 2017. The court sustained the orginal judement that Xia was found gulity for “fraud and deception” but changed the sentence to 10-year imprisonment.


Criminal defence


Cases handled

2015 Guo yushan case

2009 Deng yujiao case

2009 Tan zuoren case

2006 Cui yingjie case