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Chinese Authorities Punish Rights Lawyer

  • VOA News

Chinese authorities have banned a lawyer who defends journalists and dissidents from practicing law for a year, accusing him of anti-constitutional speeches and acts. Justice officials in Shanghai approved the ban at a hearing Friday. They said the lawyer, Guo Guoting, had adopted positions and made statements contrary to China's laws and constitution. Mr. Guo -- who had faced charges of leaking state secrets -- later said he was being given what he called an "unjustified official penalty." A media rights group -- Reporters Without Borders -- expressed dismay at Friday's ruling and urged Shanghai's justice bureau to review its decision. The group says Mr. Guo has defended several freelance journalists and dissidents, including reporter Shi Tao, who faces charges of leaking state secrets.
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