My Human Rights Lawyer’s Career (Profile)
My Human Rights Lawyer’s Career (Profile)
Thomas Guoting Guo
I am a human rights lawyer against the CCP, which has persecuted me repeatedly and subjected me to a danger of torture and a risk of cruel and unusual treatment on the basis of my political opinions and my commitment to the rule of law and human rights activity.
Domestic and international colleagues alike have supported my work as a lawyer, a law professor, an arbitrator, and an author of a dozen books and over four hundred articles. International recognition of my legal work includes:
a. “One of Hundred Chinese Public Intellectuals in the World” by South Weekly in December 2008
b. Invitation to be a visiting scholar at Columbia University School of Law in 2005-2006;
c. “One of Fourteen high profile man of the year” by Asia Weekly in December 2005
d. “Search for Justice” Award in Vancouver, B.C. on 17 July 2005.
e. Public appointment on 16 June 2005 as judge to an international tribunal in Washington D.C. to try the Chinese Communist Party (‘CCP’); and,
f. The Top Maritime Lawyer in China 2001-2002 by Legal 500 ;
From maritime lawyer to human rights lawyer
One of the key turning points in my change of career from maritime lawyer to human rights lawyer was when I began accessing the Internet. I learned how to use the computer and do research work on the Internet only after I opened my own law firm in Shanghai, because I was dedicated to establishing an excellent reputation and spent a lot of time on various Internet sites to set up my own columns, such as www.Chinalawinfo.com, www.Chinainsurece.com, www.chinashipping.com and www.Chineselawyers.com. I spent about four hours every day in online discussions about legal and political systems, freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, as well as about various cases. I published hundreds of essays online and soon become a leading Internet columnist.( see, Guoguoting, Fighting For Human Rights, (554370words) Bosun.com2003-2011)
A number of the essays about Falun Gong I published online drew particular attention. Those essays criticized CCP's policies regarding the June 4th Tiananmen Massacre and regarding Falun Gong practitioners. These essays received many hits and comments for this reason, the China Judicial Ministry took away my IP address and my Internet ID three times and finally prohibited me from publishing any more essays online.
From the Internet, I learned that the “cyber-dissidents,” Ms. Liu Di, Mr. Yang Zili, Zhang Honghai, Mr. Xuwei, and Jing Haike; Mr. Lo Yongzhong and Mr.Du Daobing, had all been detained or sentenced to prison for their online publications. So I offered to defend these cyber-dissidents.
In June 2003, I become the defence lawyer for Mr. Zheng Enchong, a fellow Rights Lawyer defence for more than five hundred Shanghai evicted victims whose house were turn down for develop new program without reasonable compensation, during the trial and appeal of the case, the Chinese government, on nineteen occasions, threatened me and warned me to give up the case or I would personally suffer, however, I definitely refuse to give up. Then, the Chinese government prohibited me from speaking to the media about the case and threatened my clients not to engage me as his legal counsel. The police checked my firm's bank account arbitrary. Then the government offered to bribe me to give up my human rights practice: they stated that if I stop defending “political criminals” they would send me shipping clients.
After practicing eighteen years as a maritime lawyer and handling hundreds of cases, publishing ten law books and three hundred legal essays and case studies in maritime law, commented by Legal 500 as the top leading maritime lawyers in China in 2001-2002, appointed as arbitrator of China Maritime Arbitration Committee in 2001, Conciliator of China International Commercial Chamber in 2002, researcher of Shanghai Maritime University in 2001, researcher of China Foreign Economic and Trade University in 2002, visiting professor of Wuhan University in 2003 and arbitrator of China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Committee in 2005, I could have continued to make a great deal of money as a maritime lawyer without any danger.
Why did I change my mind to become a human rights lawyer, who can make little money and who risks danger and revenge by the CCP at any time? My reason is that I firmly believe that the CCP is the source of all disasters in China since it took the state power by illegal force in 1949. China’s political and legal systems are reactionary and backward, which makes a fair trial and justice impossible. I realized that the human rights situation in China is extremely poor, that there is no rule of law, that the authorities are corrupt and that Chinese people suffer greatly and I learned about many excellent fighters for freedom and democracy who sacrificed their personal and family benefits and gave up material enjoyment. I also learned that the Falun Gong practitioners suffer a great deal just for their beliefs and I wanted to do something to help political dissidents and the Falun Gong. I wanted to defend their fundamental human rights and I wanted to stop the foolish policy of the CCP against the Falun Gong. I wanted to help set up a true rule of law in China. I wanted to do something to push the government to reform the political system as soon as possible. I wanted to fight for fundamental freedoms and human rights of Chinese people.
My experience tells me that without reform of political and legal systems, China will have no future and people will suffer even more than before. Although my personal and family or career might suffer a great deal, and despite the fact that as just one person, my ability and energy are very limited, since no one dares to stand up and fight for justice, I will. No matter what the result may be, no matter what loss I will face. So I do it. I have to add that because of my personal experience in which I suffered so much for my opinions, I really do not want the disaster that happened in me to happen again to others. I am so interested in jurisprudence and philosophy and I believe that I am good at human rights law, and I can contribute much more than I could as a maritime lawyer for my beloved country's freedom, democracy, human rights, rule of law and Constitution. I understand that if people cannot or dare not speak the truth or even hear or learn the truth, a country must have no future at all. I also believe that courage, honesty and integrity are the best characters of human beings, so I always do and say what I think is right, just according to my mind.
Thus I know what I am doing, what the result might be and what suffering I could face. However dangerous it will be, however difficult it will be, I intentionally choose the path of human rights. I just want to do my duty and mission according to my will. The most important thing is that, from the very beginning as a young lawyer, I made up my mind to be somebody in the future, so my practice principle is: first, never fear death and second, never love money. Of course what I mean by not fearing death is not so exact because life is so valuable, sunshine is so warm, friendship and love are so charming, the forestry grassland and sea are so full of life that how can I not enjoy such lovely life? What I mean is that if I will die, I would like to die for freedom and justice. I said never love money also not exactly, because money is so lovely and useful, without it we can do nothing, how can I not love it? What I mean is just that as a gentleman I would like to make money through my wisdom and hard work, but never sell out my dignity or my soul or my principles and never to cooperate with the evil and corrupt CCP.
So I defended Mr. Zhang Enchong strongly and excellently. I deeply researched the case and delivered news of the case news around the world. I argued that Mr. Zhang is not a criminal at all, but a hero of our time and great lawyer in China, which many persons believe and agree.