Updated on Nov. 29, 2016 at 2:29 p.m. CST
(Changsha, Hunan—Nov. 23, 2016) Authorities kidnapped a Christian human rights lawyer yesterday and have been holding for more than 24 hours.
Jiang Tianyong, a human rights attorney, was visiting the family of another imprisoned defense lawyer, Xie Yang, in Changsha, Hunan, when authorities abducted him. In the past, officials repeatedly kidnapped and tortured Jiang.
In response Jiang’s disappearance, China Aid president Bob Fu said:
“Please continue to pray for him and his family. He is a bold Christian human rights lawyer who chose to defend prisoners of conscience, such as Tibetans, Uyghurs, tortured lawyer Gao Zhisheng, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, petitioners who lost their lands, and other vulnerable groups in China. He was beaten up by five public security bureau officials and almost lost his hearing due to ear damage when he tried to visit Chen Guangcheng in the hospital. This was after Chen was walked out of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in May 2012. He was tortured so severely that, in 2014, eight of his ribs were broken due to his visit to a ‘black jail’ in Heilongjiang province, where a number of Falun Gong practitioners were being held for years for ‘mind transformation (forced brainwashing).’ In 2009, when I invited him, along with a group of rights defenders, to visit the United States, he and another Christian human rights lawyer, Zhang Kai, were the only ones who decided to testify at their own peril on both the rule of law and China’s brutal forced abortion and sterilization practice before the US Congress. The two Co-Chairs, Representatives Chris Smith and Frank Wolf, were greatly touched by their bravery. They are like my family members. I urge President Obama and President-Elect Trump to speak up for him in a rapidly worsening situation. Fortunately, we helped resettle his wife and daughter in Los Angles a few years ago; otherwise, they would have been taken as hostages to pressure Jiang.”
A letter from Jiang’s wife, written has been translated below.
China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by Jiang Tianyong and Xie Yang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom in China.
Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has been lost for more than 24 hours in Changsha because he visited the family members of a 709 case prisoner
Several days ago, my husband, lawyer Jiang Tianyong, went to Changsha, Henan, to visit Chen Guiqiu, the wife of Xie Yang, who was arrested in the 709 case [Editor’s note: The “709 case” refers to a mass round up of lawyers and is named after the day it began, July 9, 2015]. During his stay, he accompanied Chen Guiqiu, Xie Yang’s defense lawyers Zhang Chongshi and Lin Qilei, and fellow lawyer Ma Lianshun to Changsha Detention Center to learn about meeting with Xie Yang.
At 10:22 p.m. on November 21, Jiang Tianyong told me that he purchased D940 train tickets back to Beijing and that the departure time was 10:53 p.m. [If the train was on time], he should have arrived in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the next day. Afterwards, we lost contact. As of the morning of Nov. 23, it has been more than 24 hours [from the time he should have been in Beijing]. During that time, I repeatedly called his phone. Every time, the system said “[The call] has been transferred to the Secretary desk.” I also failed to get in touch with him through a variety of internet communications. I asked friends in Changsha and Beijing, and they all said they have not been able to reach Jiang Tianyong within the last 24 hours.
In light of Jiang Tianyong repeatedly suffering kidnapping by the secret police while in the process of engaging in human rights work and, after the 709 case, more and more lawyers faced enforced disappearance and torture, I appeal to people from all walks of life to pay close attention to this instance of losing contact with Jiang Tianyong.
Jiang Tianyong’s wife: Jin Bianling
Early morning on November 23, 2016
A brief introduction to Jiang Tianyong:
Jiang Tianyong is a 45-year-old senior human rights lawyer. He obtained his lawyer qualification certificate in 2001. In November of 2004, he started his career in Beijing Gaobo Longhua Law Firm. In 2005, he was commissioned as the defense lawyer in the Chen Guangcheng case. Since then, he has been involved in the Gao Zhisheng case, the Shanbei oil field case, the Taishi Village in Guangzhou case, the AIDS infected person’s rights case, the Hepatitis B carrier’s rights case, a very large environmental protection case in Dongyang, Zhejiang, the appeal case of Hai Laite, a reporter for Xinjiang’s legal system’s newspaper (his family was forced to renounce his commissioning under official pressure official pressure), Pu Buzeren Lama’s case in Tibet, the Jiumei case of Labrang Monastery in Gansu, and other religious cases. In July 2009, his lawyer license was revoked by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice. Subsequently, he continued to adhere to participating and maintaining human rights as a citizen.
On February 19, 2011, Jiang Tianyong was kidnapped by the police and was missing for two months, during which he was tortured.
On May 4, 2012, , Jiang Tianyong, was brutally beaten by the state security secret police, resulting in a perforation of the left tympanic membrane and a drop in hearing in both ears for visiting blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who was hospitalized in Beijing’s Chaoyang Hospital. At least five national security secret police took part in the assault.
In March 2014, Jiang Tianyong visited Jiansanjiang, a “black jail” in Heilongjiang, and was detained and beaten by police, resulting in eight rib fractures.