Teng Biao speaks at meeting Lawyers for Lawyers
On 29 August, Lawyers for Lawyers and NGIZ Amsterdam organized a meeting with the Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao.
As a lawyer Biao defended AIDS activists, Falun Gong followers, Tibetan protesters and farmers who have been displaced from their land. The price that he has to pay for his professional activities as a lawyer was high; he was under surveillance and under house arrest, received threats and was even put in prison three times. During the meeting, Mr Teng told about the torture he was subjected to during his imprisonment.
Besides human rights lawyer, Teng Biao is also a professor at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing and co-founder of Gongmeng. Gongmeng, better known as the Open Constitution Initiative, is an organization of lawyers and academics who are committed to the rule of law and a better constitutional protection in China. Issues that were raised include trends in the development of the rule of law in China and the question which groups deserve special attention because of their vulnerable position.
Furthermore, during the meeting Teng Biao talked about what organizations like Lawyers for Lawyers can do to help Chinese lawyers in these difficult situations. According to Mr Teng, we should keep asking attention for the lawyers who are still imprisoned in China, so that they will not be forgotten. “When nothing is being said about the human rights violations in China, nothing will change”.
At this moment, Teng Biao cannot return to China. He was forbidden to teach at the university in Beijing, and his lawyers’ license was revoked, so he can no longer practise as a lawyer in China. Recently he got offered a teaching position at Harvard University. Soon he will leave for the USA.
The meeting was a success; Teng Biao talked in a very clear and interesting way, and the audience was enthusiastic.
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