Skip to content Skip to navigation

“Turning this Page, Let Life Start Anew”—Statement by Xu Zhiyong’s Lawyer

January 26, 2014

Statement by Xu Zhiyong’s lawyer, Zhang Qingfang, upon receiving his client’s verdict: four years’ imprisonment for “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place.” Xu, a key advocate of the New Citizens Movement, was tried last Wednesday, January 22, at the Beijing Municipal No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. Zhang says he will appeal and continue to represent Xu in the trial of second instance—despite his belief that the trial lacks legitimacy and will not change the verdict—if only to fight for space for Ding Jiaxi and others awaiting trial. 


Turning this Page, Let Life Start Anew

Zhang Qingfang, January 26, 2014

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

 For me, after receiving Xu Zhiyong’s verdict, I will turn over this page.

Even though we will appeal—for the sake of fighting for space for Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) and others who will be tried at the Haidian court—the outcome will not change in the trial of second instance. In fact, even before the indictment [against Xu Zhiyong] was brought before the court, the case’s outcome had long been decided by the court’s team assigned to the case.

After I took on the defense of my classmate Xu, many friends inside the system kindly reminded me that I should pay attention to the sensitivity of the case, and that I should not speak or act too aggressively. My answer was always that I would conduct the defense in accordance with the law and that they should not worry. Recently, many people asked me whether I would continue to work as a rights defense lawyer, and I said I would not—I lack the courage of Yang Jingzhu (杨金柱) and Si Weijiang (斯伟江).

Even though I will continue to conduct the defense of Xu Zhiyong in the trial of second instance, I will not submit any defense argument to the court of second instance—I do not accept its legitimacy. At the same time, if there are any friends in the legal circle who have sufficient courage and wisdom to be willing to take over the defense in the trial of the second instance, I would energetically recommend them to Xu Zhiyong.

In the next several years, I will, together with Xu’s doctorate schoolmate Guo Yushan (郭玉闪), assume the responsibility of taking care of Xu’s family, so as to not let Madam Cui Zheng (崔筝) [Xu Zhiyong’s wife] and their newborn girl endure pressures financially or in their daily life. This is also Xu Zhiyong’s idea.

In 2014, I will not be working, trying my best to reduce the inconveniences I create for my friends.

Explore Topics

709 Crackdown Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention All about law Arbitrary Detention
Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship
Charter 08 Children Chinese Law Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists
Citizen Participation Civil Society Commentary Communist Party Of China Constitution Consumer Safety
Contending views Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current affairs Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Elections Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China
Family Planning Farmers Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion
Government Accountability Government regulation Government transparency Hong Kong House Arrest HRIC Translation
Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights developments Illegal Search And Detention Inciting Subversion Of State Power Information Control 
Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights International perspective International Relations
Internet Internet Governance JIansanjiang lawyers' rights defense Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping
Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System
Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo) National People's Congress (NPC) New Citizens Movement
Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics One country, two systems Online Activism Open Government Information Personal stories
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Probing history
Propaganda Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor
Rights Defenders Rights Defense Rule Of Law Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Special Topic State compensation
State Secrets State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories
Tiananmen Mothers Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations US-China 
Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups Women Youth Youth Perspective