Surveillance personnel near Jiang Tianyong’s residence.
(Xinyang, Henan Province–Nov. 21, 2020) Although officials released human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong from prison on February 28, 2019, Henan authorities continue to closely monitor Jiang and his family 24/7. Reportedly legally “free” from a literal prison, in a sense, as authorities keep Jiang under illegal house arrest in his former home in Henan, he remains imprisoned more than 630 days after completing his sentence.
Upon Jiang’s release from prison, authorities transported him to Zhengzhou City to reinstate his household registration. Prior to this, however, Jiang had obtained a Beijing residential permit and did not plan nor want to return to his hometown.
To facilitate police monitoring of Jiang, local public security constructed a watch house across from his residence. The surveillance extends to Jiang’s parents’ and his younger sister’s home. Authorities have also installed cameras throughout roads Jiang and family members travel.
Jiang’s initial charges leading to his imprisonment indirectly evolved from the large-scale unified arrest in July of 2015. At this time, during what became known as the “709 incident” when Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials sieged more than 300 Chinese human rights defenders. During November of 2016, Jiang traveled to Hunan Changsha to visit the family of arrested lawyer Xie Yang. At that time, Jiang became a victim of the CCP’s forced disappearance. On August 22, the following year, Changsha Intermediate People’s Court opened a case against Jiang. Three months later, Changsha Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Jiang Tianyong to serve two years in prison.
During the two years Jiang has been on house arrest, due to the abuse he experienced in prison and the unknown drugs that prison officials force-fed him, his memory as well as his vision have significantly deteriorated. He sometimes struggles with movements due to swollen legs from ensuring health problems as authorities failed to provide appropriate medical care during his incarceration. To date, authorities continue to impede Jiang’s attempts to secure suitable treatments.
On November 11 in a live recorded video, Jiang said regarding being on house arrest: “officials are on duty monitoring me 24 hours each day. Even after midnight, surveillance personnel patrol in front and behind all entrances of our residence.” Authorities have also installed numerous cameras in surrounding areas facing his home.
CCP officials intimidate friends who visit Jiang, tracking and interrogating them at times. On November 16, when guests visited Jiang, purportedly to help control the COVID pandemic spread, police required each guest to provide identification. These and other abuses, not justified by law, occur as authorities have stripped Jiang of his political rights for three years.
China emphasizes the rule of law, but Jin Bianling, Jiang’s wife, asserts that China’s law “is really just a piece of wastepaper.”
In 2019, UN human rights experts called upon China to immediately end harassment and surveillance of Jiang. They pointed out that:
Under international human rights law, civil and political rights cannot be “deprived” and can only be limited under exceptional and narrowly defined circumstances. The domestic legal provisions allowing for ‘deprivation of political rights’ are nothing but an instrument of oppression, used to punish human rights defenders for their work in violation of international human rights law and standards.
The following lists personnel who have illegally surveilled Jiang Tianyong:
- Shu Qing, Vice governor of Henan Province, Provincial Director of Public Safety Department;
- Hou Qindong, Vice Secretary of Henan Xinyang City, Director General of the city’s Public Safety Department
- Li Gang, Vice Director General of Xinyang City’s Public Safety Bureau (also in charge of a detachment under National Security Bureau) Tel: 188 3762 3111;
- Wang Li, Captain of a detachment under National Safety Bureau in Xinyang City;
- Zhou Conggui, Director General of the Public Safety Bureau in Loushan County, Henan Province;
- Zhang Jiawen, member of the National Security Bureau’s detachment in Loushan County, Henan Province;
- Li Jijun, Head Captain of a detachment under National Safety Bureau in Loushan County, field commander when Jiang Tianyong was illegally placed under house arrest, Tel: 131 0176 2022;
- Wang Wanpeng, Director of the police station of Lingshan town in Loushan County, Tel: 137 0076 7044, 178 3977 1376.
Currently, as the CCP forbids Jiang to travel, he has not seen Ms. Jin nor his daughter (who reside in the US) for many more days than necessary. The time of his enforced disappearance added to his time in prison, approximately 1,278 days prior to the more than 630 days after completing his sentence totals more than 1908 days….
ChinaAid Association, monitoring Jiang’s case, has urged CCP officials to:
- immediately stop violating Jiang’s rights,
- guarantee his freedom of movement (including visiting with his family), and
- allow him to access appropriate medical treatments.
ChinaAid will continue to closely follow the CCP’s response to Jiang’s plight.
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