IAPL: Beijing police expel prominent rights attorney from city following release

Authorities in Beijing have expelled rights attorney Zhou Shifeng from the city after holding him for months under house arrest following his release from prison, a move likely linked to his whistleblowing over now-jailed former security chief Sun Lijun.

Zhou, who headed the now-shuttered Beijing Fengrui Law Firm that was targeted in a July 2015 crackdown on human rights lawyers, was released at the end of a seven-year jail term for subversion last September, but — like other prominent rights lawyers — has never fully regained his personal freedom.

“There were three of them watching him in shifts and hiding in his residential community [to spy on him],” a person familiar with the matter told Radio Free Asia on Wednesday. “He had to get their approval if he wanted to travel any kind of distance, and also anyone who wanted to visit him had to get their approval, too.”

Zhou has now been forced to leave the city for his birthplace of Anyang in the central province of Henan, the person said.

The person said the authorities appear to regard Zhou as a threat because he repeatedly spoke out about the actions of former vice minister of public security Sun Lijun, who was handed a suspended death sentence in September 2022 for taking bribes, manipulating the stock market and illegal possession of firearms.

The Changchun Intermediate People’s Court said Sun had used his influence to seek gains for others and illegally accepted money and property worth 646 million yuan.

He had also displayed “extremely inflated political ambition” and very poor political integrity,” as well as making “groundless criticisms” of the party’s policies, and spreading political rumors, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.




https://www.swissinfo.ch/spa/china-d-humanos_ong-de-derechos-humanos-denuncia-nuevas-presiones-de-china-contra-activistas/48515772 (ESPANOL)

NEW: Chinese human rights lawyer #ZhouShifeng is under police surveillance, with people monitoring the door to his home, apartment building, and subdivision. His WeChat and phone also monitored.

He was not allowed to visit a friend’s elderly mother this Mother’s Day . https://t.co/3nAwPIYpAf

— CHRD????? (@CHRDnet) May 15, 2023