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ICC Note: Today marks the third anniversary of an intense crackdown on human rights activists and lawyers in China, many of whom are Christians. Since what came to be known as the “709 crackdowns,” many have lost their licenses to practice law in the country, and many have been detained for inciting dissent. A protest marking the anniversary highlighted the core issue of free speech and demanded the release of those who have been detained over the last three years. 

07/09/2018 Hong Kong (HKFP) – Hong Kong activists have called for the immediate release of Chinese human rights lawyers and activists ahead of the third anniversary of Beijing’s wide-reaching crackdown. During a march to the China Liaison Office in Sai Wan, they called upon the mainland authorities to reinstate the lawyers’ licenses to practice law.

Former lawmaker Albert Ho led the event, urging people to protest against the Chinese government’s “scornful and contemptuous” attitude towards the law.

The march – organized by the China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) and a coalition of rights groups – came a day before the third-year anniversary of “709 crackdowns,” which saw around 300 dissidents and their legal aides across the country rounded up.

Activists marched from the Western Police Station to Beijing’s office in Hong Kong chanting: “709 crackdowns, shameful” and “release the imprisoned lawyers.” Afterwards, they threw paper planes over the gates in protest and plastered an open letter on the front of the office reiterating their demands.

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