Chinese policemen wear pollution masks as they stand guard near the Beijing No. 2 People’s Intermediate Court where human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was sentenced in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

Chinese policemen wear pollution masks as they stand guard near the Beijing No. 2 People’s Intermediate Court where human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang was sentenced in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.
Photo Credit: Mark Schiefelbein

Ontario lawyers urge Ottawa to raise issue of jailed Chinese colleagues with Beijing


Canada’s largest law society is urging the government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to raise the issue of alleged government reprisals against Chinese human rights lawyers at the highest levels in Beijing.

The Law Society of Upper Canada (LSUC) is sounding the alarm over the fate of two prominent Chinese human rights lawyers: Shu Xiangxin from Shandong province and Wang Qiushi from Heilongjiang.

Shu was arrested on the Jan. 2, 2016. Two days later, Shu reported to his lawyers that he had been severely beaten and handcuffed to a staircase for seven hours, said a statement by the LSUC on Friday. Shu, who ofthen represented clients involved in politically sensitive cases, was found guilty of defamation and sentenced to a six month jail term. His licence to practise law was also revoked.

Wang disappeared on Jan. 9, 2016, after being summoned by police for questioning. On Jan. 12, 2016, his family was informed that he was being held by the authorities at an undisclosed location. His family has not been given any reasons for his detention, said a statement by the LSUC.

“I hope the prime minister will speak out and express his concerns to the Chinese government about their treatment of lawyers and generally about the importance of upholding the rule of law,” said Paul Schabas, bencher of the LSUC and chair of its human rights monitoring group.

(click to listen to the interview with Paul Schabas)


The Law Society is concerned that the arrest and detention of these lawyers is directed at preventing them from carrying out peaceful human rights activities, Schabas said.

“We’d like the Chinese government to leave these people alone, to release them, to stop harassing them, and to respect their right to represent their clients and advocate on behalf of their clients,” Schabas said. “And that’s what we want everywhere, we want lawyers to be able to take on unpopular causes without fear of repercussions and harassment from the state or from others that the state turns a blind eye to.”

Over the last eight years, the LSUC has sent several letters to Chinese authorities but never received a response, Schabas said.

“The sad thing is, of course, they don’t want to respond to us, they want to ignore us,” Schabas said.

Canada works with its international partners to ensure that international human rights obligations and commitments are respected, said Chantal Gagnon, a spokesperson for Global Affairs Canada.

“The promotion and protection of human right is an integral part of Canada’s foreign policy and a priority in our long-standing relationship with China,” Gagnon said. “Canada is committed to a constructive engagement with China on human rights.”

Chinese officials at the embassy in Ottawa could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Categories: International, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Ontario lawyers urge Ottawa to raise issue of jailed Chinese colleagues with Beijing
  1. Avatar Peter Ashcroft says:

    It is a pity that China has such a fluid attitude to human rights. It does not believe it has an overall responsibility to treat all its citizens with respect.