On March 17, 2021, after a week-long effort, Chi’s lawyers were still unable to meet with their clients in the Dawu Group case. Informed release
Attempts by lawyers representing those arrested to meet with their clients have been obstructed by the authorities, and lawyers have been banned from speaking publicly. The official crackdown has had a serious impact on the group’s operations, and it is rumored that villagers in the group’s area have been coerced into giving false testimony.
Lawyers representing different defendants in the Sun Dawu case were recently obstructed by the police on various pretexts when they went to the Gaobeidian Public Security Bureau in Hebei Province to meet with their clients.
Wu Lei, a lawyer who has been following the case, told the station that Chi Chingsheng, a lawyer representing the case, had been in Gaobeidian for a week and was ready to meet with his client, Sun Dawu, the general manager of the Dawu Group and Sun Dawu’s brother, on Wednesday (17), but was obstructed. In addition, most of the 25 people arrested in the case have not been able to meet with their lawyers.
Wu Lei said: 25, some can meet, but the vast majority are not able to meet. At least Chi Changsheng has been here for almost a week, to meet Dawu’s brother, his brother’s name is Sun Dehua, are designated for residential surveillance, no way to meet. Sun Dawu’s entire Family has been arrested, and all of his immediate family members have been taken away.
Another lawyer, who requested anonymity, told our reporter that Sun Dawu’s wife, Liu Huiru, had been suffering from hypertension and other illnesses for many years and was in poor health, so her request for bail was denied. The situation of a number of executives of the Dawu Group is also unclear. In addition, because of the sensitivity of the case, the lawyers are difficult to speak publicly for.
Ms. Chen, a mid-level manager of Dawu Group, pointed out that among the people arrested in the group, six to eight people were secretly detained under the name of residential surveillance, while the others have been arrested. Among them, Sun Dawu and his eldest son are under residential surveillance, while Sun’s wife and second son have been arrested.
Ms. Chen revealed that the current companies under the Dawu Group are nominally still under the name of Dawu, but the subsequent situation is unknown. At present the enterprise is still operating, but because of the impact of the Epidemic and suppressed, some sightseeing and tourism type companies have emerged more difficulties.
Ms. Chen said: not yet (collapse), but how there is an impact. Schools and hospitals are running normally. After all, it is not the same as some others. There is a part of the enterprise it is not profitable, like some travel and tourism, the impact is great, almost directly shut down.
Under official pressure, many employees of the Dawu Group have been silenced. Some resort employees admitted to reporters that they could not talk much.
Resort employees: sorry, not convenient to disclose. Our side is not convenient to disclose, sorry, thank you for your attention.
Our reporter has also called the Gaobeidian City Public Security Bureau several times, but the other side refused to respond.
At present, the government of Xushui District, Baoding City, Hebei Province, where the Dawu Group is located, has organized a “working group” into the Dawu Group, all the company’s seals were seized, the company’s assets were taken over by the government, the employees’ families have been in financial difficulties. The local government has also set up a checkpoint at the intersection outside the company, and all outsiders entering the company have to be checked. The local law firm was also banned from intervening in the case privately.
Earlier this year, Rights Defense Network published an article condemning the authorities for pressuring and inducing villagers at the site of the company to commit perjury in the case.
More than 20 people, including Sun Dawu and his subsidiaries, were arrested in a police raid last November, and his wife Liu Huiru and two daughters-in-law were also arrested on charges of “illegal public deposit taking. However, it is widely believed that Sun Dawu was charged by the authorities with “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and “disrupting production and operation” for his long-standing public criticism of current affairs and his founding of a welfare hospital that touched local interests.
In August of last year, three months before the authorities launched their arrest of Sun Dawu, a local state-owned farm forcibly demolished Dawu Group’s house, leading to a clash between the group and local police and the arrest of several Dawu Group employees and managers. Since then, the Dawu Group has publicly protested.
In 2019, Sun Dawu had made public the death of tens of thousands of pigs at the group’s pig farms, asking the government to confirm whether there was an outbreak of African swine fever in the area. Sun Dawu’s action was said to be a direct stab at the Hebei provincial government’s concealment of the outbreak.
In 2003, Sun Dawu was also arrested at one point for his political rhetoric and sentenced to three years in prison with four years probation. Chinese legal and academic circles have called Sun Dawu the conscience of Chinese entrepreneurs.