State security police across China have been questioning lawyers who volunteered to help people arrested during the recent anti-lockdown protests, with some withdrawing from the scheme due to political pressure from the authorities, according to a media report.
Chinese human rights lawyers have been scrambling to assist the friends and families of people arrested during a wave of anti-lockdown protests at the end of November, many of whom have little experience being treated as dissidents by Chinese authorities, RFA reported.
Lawyer Wang Shengsheng, who compiled and published a list of dozens of attorneys offering to volunteer to help people detained for protesting China's 'zero-Covid' restrictions or mourning the victims of a November 24 lockdown fire in Xinjiang's regional capital, Urumqi, said state security police have starting investigating her after she started helping detained protesters.
Wang, who hails from the central city of Zhengzhou but works for a law firm based in the southern city of Guangzhou, said the city's justice bureau had turned up at her law firm and taken away all of the files linked to previous cases she has represented, RFA reported.
"They sent people from the judicial bureau's [Communist Party] committee," she told RFA.
"They were checking whether my records were in order, for example, we need to sign a contract when taking a new case, and issue a receipt when we receive our fees."