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11may20103Dharamshala: Two human rights lawyers in China have been banned permanently from practicing law in China.

Tang Jitian and Liu Wei had their law licenses revoked for defending a practitioner of the forbidden Falun Gong spiritual movement. The ban is the most recent effort of the Chinese government to prohibit the work of human rights lawyers in Tibet and elsewhere in the country.

According to reports, the two lawyers were accused of having "disrupted the order of the court and interfered with the regular litigation process" in Beijing last month.

The charge refers to the defending of Yang Ming, a Falun Gong follower, in Sichuan Province in April of last year.

Both lawyers refute the charges and claim that Yang Ming's trail was mishandled in court. The two have said they will appeal the decision.

"It's revenge for what we have done. It's to scare our friends who are doing the same things. It has a chilling effect on them," Tang Jitian said on Monday.

The ban contributes to growing discontent with the stifling of human rights work in the country, and the elimination of fair hearings and representation of those accused with anti-government acts.

"Independence issues and the Falun Gong - if you were to be a lawyer for that, they want you to do it their way, to act out a part in their theatre," Mr. Tang said. "If you cannot protect the rights of the people, the most basic rights, then why do you even exist as a lawyer? The entire profession might as well be extinct."

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