Shaanxi Authorities Release Lawyer Zhu Jiuhu

September 26, 2005

Local authorities in Shaanxi province released Beijing lawyer Zhu Jiuhu on September 19, according to the South China Morning Post. Before he was detained in May 2005, Zhu had represented thousands of investors in a sensitive administrative lawsuit challenging the government seizure of more than 5,000 privately run oil fields (see related story here). According to the SCMP and the Epoch Times, Zhu, who is charged with "illegal assembly" and "disturbing social order," was released on bail but prohibited from leaving Beijing or being interviewed in the news media. The restrictions on Zhu will effectively prevent him from representing the investors in the Shaanxi case, which some observers view as a test of the Chinese government's rhetoric on improving protections for private property rights. About a dozen private entrepreneurs who protested the property seizure remain in detention and may be sentenced for disrupting public order or sent to re-education through labor camps.