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Rights teams, U.S. senators blast Mayer Brown over Tiananmen statue

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  • The agency sought removing of a Hong Kong statue commemorating protesters killed throughout Tiananmen Square crackdown
  • Mayer Brown says Hong Kong University, which needs the statue taken down, is a long-time consumer

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(Reuters) – Republican senators and human rights activists have taken intention at U.S. legislation agency Mayer Brown for its work on behalf of the University of Hong Kong, which is in search of to take away from its campus a statue commemorating pro-democracy protesters killed throughout China’s Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989.

The statue, a 26-foot tall, two-ton copper sculpture referred to as the “Pillar of Shame,” is without doubt one of the few remaining public symbols in China commemorating the Tiananmen Square crackdown. Beijing resumed management of Hong Kong in 1997. The statue has been put in on the University of Hong Kong campus for greater than twenty years.

The Danish sculptor who made the statue loaned it to an area civil society group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, in perpetuity. In a Thursday letter to the alliance, Mayer Brown demanded its removing by Wednesday on the college’s behalf.

The letter, which didn’t embrace any particular person Mayer Brown attorneys’ signatures, drew the ire of the statue’s creator, Jens Galschiot, and has attracted criticism from a variety of human rights activists and organizations, as nicely U.S. senators Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz.

“American firms should be ashamed to be complicit” within the statue’s removing, Cruz instructed journalist Eli Lake in a Substack column printed Wednesday. Graham within the article lamented that “American law firms are doing the bidding of the Communist Party.” A spokesperson for Graham declined to remark additional. Cruz’s workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Separately, a bunch of 28 non-governmental organizations known as on Mayer Brown to finish its relationship with the college in an open letter, saying the agency’s demand “shows that Mayer Brown has violated its stated mission to make a positive difference in the lives of citizens in Hong Kong.”

Mayer Brown in a press release stated it was “asked to provide a specific service on a real estate matter for our long-term client, the University of Hong Kong.”

“Our role as outside counsel is to help our clients understand and comply with current law. Our legal advice is not intended as commentary on current or historical events,” the agency stated.

Samuel Chu, a founder and former managing director of the Washington, D.C.-based Hong Kong Democracy Council, stated in a electronic mail that it is “unacceptable” that Mayer Brown has touted its dedication to human rights within the context of George Floyd’s demise “while acting in the exact opposite way in Hong Kong.”

Mayer Brown can hint its presence in Hong Kong again to the nineteenth century by one in all its legacy corporations, Johnson Stokes & Master, which was based in Hong Kong in 1863 and merged with Mayer Brown in 2008.

Read extra:

Tiananmen statue creator accuses HK college of ‘mafia’ ways

Reporting by David Thomas
David Thomas

David Thomas experiences on the enterprise of legislation, together with legislation agency technique, hiring, mergers and litigation. He relies out of Chicago. He might be reached at d.thomas@thomsonreuters.com and on Twitter @DaveThomas5150.

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