I moved the latest irrelevant posts to the CDT, Media, and Propaganda thread. No more off topic comments here!
Legal authorities in China ordered lawyers not to take on cases from the families of victims of last weekend's fatal train crash, it emerged Saturday, as judicial officials apologised for the move.
Three days after the crash near Wenzhou in eastern China, law firms in the city received an "urgent statement" in the names of the Wenzhou Judicial Bureau and the Wenzhou Lawyers' Association, the official Xinhua news agency said Saturday.
The statement said lawyers should report to the two organisations "immediately after the injured passengers and families of the deceased in the accident come for legal help," the agency reported.
Xinhua said the statement also told lawyers not to "unauthorisedly respond and handle the cases," because "the accident is a major sensitive issue concerning social stability".
Forty people were killed when two high-speed trains collided last Saturday on the outskirts of Wenzhou, the worst accident yet to hit China's rapidly expanding high-speed network, now the biggest in the world only four years after it opened.
The accident has raised questions over whether safety concerns may have been overlooked in the rush to expand the network, and China's state-controlled media has been unusually outspoken in its coverage of the accident, defying directives not to question the official line.
There has been widespread criticism of the government's handling of the accident and its aftermath in Chinese media and online, and the instructions to lawyers prompted an angry response when they were publicised by web users.
"The judicial authorities and the lawyers' association in Wenzhou have banned lawyers from taking victims' cases. Who are they working for? I'm having doubts about the independence of Chinese justice," wrote one web user, Dianfuzishangwudeguairen, on the Sina microblog service.
The Wenzhou Judicial Bureau apologised for the statement, which it said the lawyers' group had issued without its approval.
"We didn't know the content of the statement before it was released. It was written by the lawyers' association, which used our name without authorisation," Liu Xianping, director of the bureau's office, said in remarks quoted by Xinhua.
A Wenzhou Lawyers' Association spokesman confirmed this version of events, Xinhua said, adding that they issued the order because they feared "conflicts would be generated if legal services are not well-provided".
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered an "open and transparent" probe into the crash and said those responsible would be "severely punished".
Rail officials have admitted the Chinese-made signalling system was to blame and the company that built it has apologised.
Amateur video posted online has shown bulldozers pushing the wreckage of carriages into a ditch. On other clips, web-users say they can see one or two corpses falling to the ground at the same time as a carriage left hanging at the crash site is deliberately toppled over.
On Friday evening the railways ministry said that the carriages had to be pushed off the viaduct for rescue operation purposes, and no evidence had been lost as a result.
But the footage has done nothing to ease criticism, particularly as a two-year-old girl was found alive in the wreckage 21 hours after the accident, long after rescue operations had been declared over.
Wen's own trip to the site five days after the crash raised further questions, when he said that his visit had been delayed because he had been in bed sick for more than a week -- a highly unusual admission in China, where the health of top leaders is considered a state secret.
Photographs on the central government website of Wen meeting a Japanese delegation the day after the crash appeared to contradict his claim, and analysts suggest leaders may have disagreed over how to handle the disaster.
Do you mean a Chinese language news article or something from the Chinese state media? Good luck with the latter!Could someone verify this story with a Chinese news source?
Easy, it's because the propaganda officials use modern communication methods to distribute their orders. It used to be done by telephone or verbally. Now it's done by email (don't know about texts). So it's so much easier for someone to take a snapshot of that and post it online. You have to realise that even if virtually all journalists eventually toe the Party line, it doesn't mean that they all agree with it. It takes just one to leak the directives.One thing I don't get about is how news group were able to obtain inside source about the Chinese propaganda bureau giving directives to CCTV on how to report of the incidence
That's what I've heard... and was said leaked by an high official... seem to be opposition within the party as to how to properly handle the matters.... as seen with first trying to buried the train but later digging it back out after being exposed to the world of trying coverup the evidences. I think only Wen Jiabao is the only person who are being the most transparent in handling this tragedy of right now.You have to realise that even if virtually all journalists eventually toe the Party line, it doesn't mean that they all agree with it. It takes just one to leak the directives.
Can we be so sure? He said he'd been ill for several days before he visited, which is why he couldn't make it. But the following blog says that the Chinese media was reporting that he was doing state functions at the time.I think only Wen Jiabao is the only person who are being the most transparent in handling this tragedy of right now.
Another PR disaster if its true. The only thing they have got right so far is to improve the compensation payments. Futhermore confidential no fault compensation occurs occassionaly in the West.
Wenzhou judicial authorities apologize for telling lawyers not to handle train crash cases
English.news.cn 2011-07-30 17:34:22
WENZHOU, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The judicial bureau of Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province has apologized for a statement that told lawyers not to "unauthorizedly" handle cases involving last Saturday's deadly bullet train collision.
The judicial authorities apologized to the public for its "lax supervision" over the Wenzhou Lawyers' Association, which allegedly issued the order arbitrarily, according to an apology statement posted on a local official news website on Thursday.
On Tuesday, law firms in the city received an "urgent statement" issued under the names of the Wenzhou Judicial Bureau and the Wenzhou Lawyers' Association.
The statement asked lawyers to "report to the judicial bureau and lawyers' association immediately after the injured passengers and families of the deceased in the accident come for legal help," and said lawyers "shouldn't unauthorizedly respond and handle the cases," because "the accident is a major sensitive issue concerning social stability."
The statement immediately aroused public anger after being exposed by netizens.
In response to the criticism, the judicial bureau accused the lawyers' association of using the bureau's name to issue Tuesday's statement without authorization.
"We didn't know the content of the statement before it was released. It was written by the lawyers' association, which used our name without authorization," said Liu Xianping, director of the bureau's office.
He said the judicial bureau and lawyers' association often issue statements jointly, and this time the association took it for granted and used the bureau's name again.
A spokesman with the Wenzhou Lawyers' Association confirmed that version of events, and said they issued the order because they feared "conflicts would be generated if legal services are not well-provided."
Liu said the judicial bureau has asked the law firms in Wenzhou to accept the cases concerning the train crash in accordance with laws and offer high-quality services.
The train crash on July 23 left 40 people dead and 191 others injured. As of Saturday, 10 of 31 families have agreed to take a compensatory payment of 915,000 yuan (143,000 U.S.dollars) per deceased family member.