BEIJING – A report says lawyers who defend human rights activists and dissidents targeted by China’s communist government have increasingly themselves become targets of prosecutions, violence and other means of suppression.
The report was released Thursday by the Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a coalition of groups working within and outside China. The network identified six times last year that lawyers were beaten by plaintiffs, police officers or assailants likely hired by authorities.
The report also found detainees were pressured to fire their own lawyers and accept government-supplied attorneys.
Under President Xi Jinping, China has widely suppressed independent organizations and dissenters, as well as lawyers defending people caught in its crackdown.