The long shadow of the Pu Zhiqiang case

Pu Zhiqiang featured on the cover of the Southern People Weekly, January 2013

Pu Zhiqiang featured on the cover of the Southern People Weekly, January 2013

On January 11, Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强) celebrated his 50th birthday behind bars. It’s impossible to know what emotions Pu, a lawyer known for his deft and candid style, was feeling on that day. But many of his supporters, including lawyers, legal scholars and media professionals, took to social media to wish him happy birthday — a uniquely Chinese form of collective resistance. Just one of the posts made to Weibo that day prompted 2,300 shares, and more than 500 comments.

Meanwhile, some well-known lawyers and legal experts were more direct in voicing their anger over the campaign authorities have waged in recent months against right defense lawyers in China. Among them, Peking University law professor He Weifang (贺卫方) wrote: “With one hand they overturn unjust convictions, and with the other they orchestrate new ones. Is there anything more ridiculous?” Read more…