“Tiger chair” permanently injures human rights Lawyer Chang Weiping

Detained Lawyer Chang Weiping.
(Photo: Front Line Defenders)

(Baoji, Shaanxi Province—Dec. 24. 2020) On November 3, Baoji police notified family members of human rights Lawyer Chang Weiping that authorities had placed him “under residential surveillance in a designated location.” They have charged him for the alleged crime of “inciting subversion of state powers.” 

As of December 15, during the second-time authorities have held human rights Lawyer Chang under “residential surveillance in a designated location,” torture tactics have included the tiger chair. When using this interrogation tool, also called a tiger bench, the torturer forces the detainee to “sit” on a five-foot-long board with a vertical backrest affixed to one end. As the detainee sits with his or her legs stretched down the board and his or her arms bound behind the backrest, the torturer sometimes positions bricks beneath the victim’s calves, elevating the legs which then stresses the knees from hypertension. Torturers may leave their victims in a painful, damaging position for days. 

Lawyer Chang explained this part of his experience being tortured:

I was bound onto the tiger chair in a room in a Baoti hotel for 24 hours every day—for 10 days. Even now, I suffer from the damage from this extremely painful method of torture: I have lost normal feeling in my right index finger. My ring finger remains numb.

While being detained, police arranged a short meeting between Lawyer Chang and Chang Shuanming, his father. Before his father left, Lawyer Chang, who appeared frail with a depressed expression, said: “You and my mother should continue to live on well.”

Public opinion equates these words as “identical to a will.”

Insiders report the name of the lead investigator for Lawyer Chang’s case as Xiang Xianhong,* the vice director-general of BaoJi City Gaoxin district’s public security bureau. He has also been identified as the person in charge of the task force torturing Lawyer Cheng.

“China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group” has stressed that China has an obligation to fulfill “The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).” As noted in Part 1 of this two-part article, ChinaAid Association calls on the Chinese government to release lawyer Chang Weiping and asks those reading about Lawyer Chang to lift him and his freedom up in their prayers.

*Contact number for Xiang Xianhong, the official in charge of Chang Weiping’s task force:       


I exhort therefore, that, first of all, 
supplications, prayers, intercessions, and 
giving of thanks,
 be made for all men…. 

                                                ~ 1 Timothy 2:1

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