(Changsha, Hunan—Dec. 19, 2016) A state-run newspaper published a slanderous article concerning a missing human rights lawyer today, announcing that the government planned to apply criminal measures to him under allegations that he possessed and leaked state secrets.
Jiang Tianyong, a lawyer whose license was revoked in 2007 because he continually defended victims of human rights abuse, disappeared on Nov. 22 en route to his home in Beijing. He had been visiting the wife of another incarcerated rights attorney, Xie Yang, in Changsha. According to Jin Bianling, his wife, she last heard that he purchased tickets for a train departing that night. Since then, she has not been able to contact him.
Nearly a month later, Jin read an article published by The Paper, a government mouthpiece news site, claiming her husband possessed and leaked state secrets. In response, she wrote a statement maintaining Jiang’s innocence, expressed her “strong condemnation” of the measures implemented against him, and stated her suspicion that he had been tortured to extort a confession.
She also revealed that Jiang’s family worked with lawyers to file a missing person report with the public security bureau, but the authorities refused to accept the case, citing various excuses.
Additionally, officials have also neglected to keep the family members updated on his case.
“This is absolutely another case of arbitrary arrest, which came after Jiang’s enforced disappearance for more than three weeks,” said China Aid’s president and founder, Bob Fu. “Releasing news about his arrest and his own so-called confessed crimes without going through any due process certainly indicates coercion and torture have been applied already. We urge the Chinese regime to immediately release him. The international community will hold those abusers and torturers of Jiang accountable.”
A translation of Jin’s statement, as well as a statement from his lawyer, can be read in full below.
China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by Jiang Tianyong, in order to promote human rights, religious freedom and rule of law in China.
At 9:47 p.m. on Dec. 16, 2016, The Paper suddenly released information that compulsory criminal measures have been applied against Jiang Tianyong as a result of the so-called charges that he possessed state secrets and had provided state secrets to overseas entities. I am shocked about such allegations, and I hereby express my strong condemnation. I make my solemn statement below:
1. After the disappearance of Jiang Tianyong, his family and lawyers have, in accordance with the law, reported a missing persons case to the public security bureau. However, the authorities refused to file the case and imposed various barriers against us. Throughout the course of events, the family has never received any official notification, even to the point that no family member was present when they raided the premises of his accommodation. Official information claiming that notices were delivered to the family twice is a pack of lies.
2. I believe that all of the public security bureau’s rumors and slanderous accusations are false charges. They are retaliations against and suppressions of Jiang Tianyong’s long-term human rights defense work.
3. The report stated, “The public security bureau said that Jiang Tianyong has already admitted to facts related to the case.” According to my understanding of Jiang Tianyong, he will absolutely never issue a “self-incriminating” confession. It is likely that he has already been seriously tortured to extort a confession.
Hereafter, I will commission a lawyer to request an immediate meeting with Jiang Tianyong and will also consider making an immediate request to meet Jiang Tianyong. I would also consider suing the media that has started the rumor and the government office that illegally handled the case.
By: Jin Bianling, wife of Jiang Tianyong
Dec. 16, 2016
1. The family of Jiang Tianyong and the lawyers appointed by Jiang’s family — lawyer Chen Jinxue of the Guangdong Lü Cheng Ding Bang Law Office and lawyer Qin Chenshou of the Guangxi Baijuming Law Firm—have so far not received any written notification concerning Jiang Tianyong since his disappearance on Nov. 21, 2016.
2. So far, no official [government] organ of any kind has, in accordance with the law, informed Jiang Tianyong’s family and lawyers about the crimes Jiang has allegedly committed, the location of his detention, the [government] unit conducting the investigation, names and contacts of investigators, whether his personal safety has been ensured, whether he has been tortured, etc. As a result, Jiang Tianyong’s right to personal safety and his lawyers’ right to defend him have been seriously infringed.
3. We strongly deplore the public security departments and the official press for their overwhelmingly libelous coverage on Jiang Tianyong and the extravagant publicity, the biased public opinion and the [negative media exposure] it prompted.
4. We do not accept the smearing [of Jiang’s name] and the framing charges made against Jiang Tianyong. All rights-infringing (criminal) actions should immediately be stopped and a public apology made. We will immediately take legal action to hold the individuals in charge legally accountable.
Lawyer Chen Jinxue
Guangdong Lü Cheng Ding Bang Law Office
Lawyer Qin Chenshou
Guangxi Baijuming Law Firm