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China Revokes License of Noted Civil Rights Lawyer

  • VOA News

FILE - Anti-Beijing protesters, with a picture of human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, protest outside the Chinese liaison office to demand Pu's release, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

FILE - Anti-Beijing protesters, with a picture of human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, protest outside the Chinese liaison office to demand Pu's release, in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.

A prominent Chinese human rights lawyer says his law license has been revoked, due to his conviction last year over a series of online postings critical of the Beijing government.

Pu Zhiqiang was given a three-year suspended prison sentence last December when he was found guilty in a Beijing court of "inciting ethnic hatred" and "picking quarrels and provoking trouble." His posts included criticism of Beijing's policies in Tibet and the remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, where the mostly Muslim, Turkic-speaking Uighurs have long complained of cultural and religious persecution by Chinese authorities.

The 50-year-old lawyer has represented a number of dissidents, including labor camp victims and outspoken artist Ai Weiwei. He was arrested in May 2014 after attending a meeting to discuss the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre of hundreds of pro-democracy protesters by Chinese security forces.

Pu's arrest and trial is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's crackdown on government critics and civil rights activists since coming to power in 2013.

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