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The countries where lawyers risk death

At Christianity Today, Timothy C Morgan put in a good word for lawyers – that is, the lawyers who defend persecuted Christians around the world. David Saperstein, an Obama administration aide, said: “In the more repressive countries, these lawyers are really heroic figures. They often face harassment from authorities and persecution.”

Some of these lawyers aren’t Christian. Surprisingly enough, Asia Bibi – the Pakistani woman who has spent seven years fighting a charge of blasphemy – is represented by a Muslim attorney, Saif ul Malook.

China is even more dangerous. Since July 2015, the country has detained 300 human rights lawyers – half of whom are Christians. Some of these lawyers have been tortured with “marathon interrogations, electric batons, forced consumption of drugs, water dungeons and threats against family members”.

Although some Chinese Christian lawyers are dissidents, one, Zhang Kai, “was renowned for working within China’s legal framework”. But his Thomas More-like caution didn’t save him from being arrested and made to confess to supposed crimes on public television.

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