Lawyer stripped of li­cense for jeop­ar­diz­ing na­tional se­cu­rity

Global Times - Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - By Zhao Chen Page Ed­i­tor: zhanghui@glob­al­

A lawyer at a firm in East China’s Shan­dong Prov­ince, who al­legedly posted com­ments on­line jeop­ar­diz­ing na­tional se­cu­rity, had his law prac­tice li­cense re­voked Fri­day, his at­tor­ney told the Global Times.

Zhu Shengwu, a lawyer from the Shan­dong Xin­chang Law Firm, de­nied on his Weibo ac­count China’s fun­da­men­tal po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and in­cited dis­con­tent to the Party and the gov­ern­ments. The posts caused se­vere neg­a­tive social in­flu­ence and dam­aged the im­age of lawyers, ac­cord­ing to a let­ter re­vealed by Zhu’s lawyer, Ding Xikui. The let­ter was is­sued by Shan­dong’s pro­vin­cial de­part­ment of jus­tice.

The Shan­dong de­part­ment of jus­tice con­ducted a hear­ing on re­vok­ing Zhu’s li­cense Thurs­day, and in­vited 30 peo­ple, in­clud­ing lawyers and or­di­nary cit­i­zens, ac­cord­ing to the de­part­ment’s web­site. The de­part­ment said that its de­ci­sion to re­voke Zhu’s li­cense was based on the reg­u­la­tions for lawyers and law firms.

“We will ap­peal the de­ci­sion,” Ding told the Global Times.

“When one’s speech harms the in­ter­ests of oth­ers, so­ci­ety and the State, he or she should be pun­ished,” Wang Sixin, a me­dia law pro­fes­sor at Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Uni­ver­sity of China, told the Global Times on Fri­day.

Aside from the re­vok­ing of his li­cense, Zhu could also face jail time if found guilty of post­ing com­ments that harmed na­tional se­cu­rity, Wang said.

Ac­cord­ing to China’s Lawyer Law, the li­cense of lawyers who make state­ments that jeop­ar­dize na­tional se­cu­rity would ei­ther be sus­pended for up to a year or re­voked. In se­ri­ous cases, the lawyer could face crim­i­nal charges.

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