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    Chinese Police Stop Rights Lawyer Mo Shaoping from Meeting Merkel

    NTDTelevision

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has just wrapped up a visit to China, yet some appointments on the trip were cancelled. Chinese authorities detained a human rights lawyer in his office to prevent him from meeting with Merkel. The lawyer had been invited to a function by the German embassy in advance.

    On Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel wrapped up her fifth visit to China since taking office. While Merkel was able to reassure Chinese leaders on the prospects of the Euro and Europe's recovery from the sovereign debt crisis, she was prevented from meeting with a prominent human rights lawyer.

    The German Embassy in Beijing had invited Lawyer Mo Shaoping to attend a function with Merkel on February 2nd and afterwards to hold private discussions.

    [Mo Shaoping, Human Rights Lawyer]:
    "Chancellor Merkel hoped to meet with me and also the editor of 'Yanhuang Chunqiu,' Mr. Wu Si and have a talk in private. Mainly she wanted to discuss with me the situation of law and order in China, and the situation of lawyers in China."

    However on the day of the meeting, Beijing police locked Mo up in his office for several hours to prevent him from attending the event.

    [Mo Shaoping, Human Rights Lawyer]:
    "Afterwards they said there was no legal foundation for it. They were just following orders from above. China will hold the 18th Party Congress this year. It requires stability—to protect stability, and won't allow any other voices to be heard."

    In the end Merkel was only able to meet the editor of the publication "Yanhuang Chunqiu." They talked for about 40 minutes.

    Shandong based rights lawyer Li Xiangyang says this kind of suppression is common in China.

    [Li Xiangyang, Shandong Based Rights Lawyer]:
    "Arbitrarily limiting people's freedom, arbitrarily trampling on law and order.