[CHRB] Details of Lawyers’ Torture Emerge, 3 Tibetan Villagers Given Long Sentences (4/4-4/10/2014)

China Human Rights Briefing

 April 4-10, 2014

Contents

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

  • Details of Torture Emerge, Released Lawyers Underwent Medical Exam

Update on Crackdown on Peaceful Assembly, Association and Expression

  • Lawyers Walk Out of “New Citizens’ Movement” Trials in Protest, Xu Zhiyong Appeal Ruling Expected This Week

Arbitrary Detention

  • 3 Tibetan Villagers Given Long Sentences Over Unrest in Diru County

Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment & Punishment

Details of Torture Emerge, Released Lawyers Underwent Medical Exam

Human rights lawyers recently released in Heilongjiang Province were tortured and suffered injuries, including Tang Jitian (唐吉田), whose medical certificate is pictured here.

Human rights lawyers recently released in Heilongjiang Province were tortured and suffered injuries, including Tang Jitian (唐吉田), whose medical certificate is pictured here.

Three human rights lawyers recently released from detention in Heilongjiang Province suffered severe torture in police custody, adding to the incidents of violent assault of lawyers and activists in Jiansanjiang since late March. On April 6, Tang Jitian (唐吉田), Wang Cheng (王成), and Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) were released after serving 15-day administrative detentions on charges of “using cult activities to disturb social order” in connection with a black jail investigation.

Tang and Wang have disclosed that they were handcuffed, hooded, strung up with rope by their hands, and beaten while held in the Daxing Public Security Sub-bureau. Tang, who was tortured after refusing to sign a police report, had a tooth knocked out and also has several fractured ribs. Wang was hit in the chest, legs, and back with a police baton. Jiang Tianyong suffered bruises and soft tissue injuries, according to records of a medical examination.

Upon being released and sent back to Beijing, Jiang was put under close watch by police and prevented from meeting friends. According to one source, Jiang was arrested and charged with “possessing state secrets” in Jiansanjiang, and was released on bail awaiting trial. Since Wang’s release, Zhejiang authorities have pressured him to move back to his hometown in Hubei Province, his child has been threatened with a ban from attending school in Zhejiang, and the water has been shut off at their home.

On March 21, the three lawyers were seized from their hotel rooms along with Zhang Junjie (张俊杰), and all four were then detained at Qixing Detention Center. Freed after a five-day detention, Zhang was also tortured in custody, suffering several broken ribs and a fractured lumbar vertebra (see report).[1]

In a statement released last week, CHRD called for an investigation into the use of violence, arbitrary detention, and threats against the lawyers and their supporters in Jiansanjiang, and for those responsible to be held criminally accountable (see statement).

Update on Crackdown on Peaceful Assembly, Association and Expression

Lawyers Walk Out of “New Citizens’ Movement” Trials in Protest, Xu Zhiyong Appeal Ruling Expected This Week

Defense attorneys for the lawyer Ding Jiaxi (丁家喜) and activist Li Wei (李蔚) left court in protest over procedural violations on April 9 in Beijing, while the trial for activist Zhang Baocheng (张宝成) ended after one day in what amounted to closed proceedings. The trials all opened at Haidian District People’s Court on April 8 after having been postponed in January, when the defendants’ lawyers either dropped the cases or were dismissed in protest over procedural violations by the court (see report). The trial of activist Zhao Changqing (赵常青) began on April 10, also at the same court, after having been similarly delayed. Only his wife was allowed into the courtroom.[2]

All four are accused of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order of a public place” and have been detained in Beijing No. 3 Detention Center for the past year. The Beijing Municipality High People’s Court will announce its ruling on activist Xu Zhiyong (许志永)’s appeal on April 11, and it is expected to uphold Xu’s four-year sentence handed down in January.

There was a heavy police presence outside the courthouse on April 8 for the trials of Zhang, Ding, and Li. Activists were taken away, and several foreign diplomats were blocked from attending the proceedings. At Zhang Baocheng’s trial, the only three seats available in the courtroom were given to his family, with the rest occupied by individuals prearranged by authorities. Police assaulted Ding’s lawyer, Sui Muqing (隋牧青), during a court recess on April 8 after he gave a media interview. Lawyer Sui and Jiang Yuanmin (蒋援民), Li’s attorney, walked out of the courtroom in protest on April 9 after they were given photocopies of the evidence against their clients, rather than original documentation. Sui was given two warnings by the judge and then issued a fine. The lawyers said they would only continue with the case if the court follows proper procedures and provides original case documents.[3]

Arbitrary Detention

3 Tibetan Villagers Given Long Sentences Over Unrest in Diru County

Authorities in the Tibet Autonomous Region sentenced village leaders Ngangtak, 54, and Rigsal, 31, each to 10 years in prison on January 14, allegedly for not “maintaining stability” in Mokhyim Village last fall, when residents refused to comply with government orders in Diru (CH: Biru) County. Another villager, Trigyal, was sentenced to 13 years, but no further information is known in his case. Ngangtak was reportedly accused of instigating Mokhyim residents to rise up against Chinese rule and for allegedly holding a political meeting at his home. Mokhyim was one of many villages in Diru where locals rejected official orders to fly the Chinese national flag from home rooftops, a place traditionally reserved for Tibetan prayer flags. Many in Mokhyim also took part in a large protest against the Chinese Communist Party’s “mass line” campaign (see report). Ngangtak and Rigsal were disappeared on November 24, 2013. The current locations and conditions of the three imprisoned men are unknown.[4]

Contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director, +1 240 374 8937, reneexia@chrdnet.com

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator, +852 8192 7875, victorclemens@chrdnet.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CHRDnet

[1] “Due to Rights Defense at Jiansanjiang, Authorities Shut Off Water to House of Lawyer Wang Cheng” (因建三江维权王成律师家遭遇当局停水“围剿”), April 9, 2014, WQW; “Citizen’s Group Again Demonstrate Over Torture of 4 Lawyers, Request Jiansanjiang Authorities Investigate” (公民团再打横幅关注遭酷刑的4律师,要求对建三江违宪审查), April 9, 2014, WQW; “Jiansanjiang Lawyers Tortured, 15 Supporters Call for Assistance” (建三江被抓律师遭酷刑,15位声援者待救援), April 7, 2014, WQW; “Three Lawyers Released on April 6, People Again Seized in Jiansanjiang” (2014年4月6日星期日 三律师行拘期满获释,建三江再次抓人), April 6, 2014, WQW; “Lawyer and Citizen Groups Gather in Jiansanjiang to Keep Watch for Illegally Held Lawyers and Citizens” (律师团公民团云集建三江守候被非法关押的律师和公民), April 5, 2014, WQW.

[2] “Zhao Changqing Trial Begins after Nearly 1-Year in Detention, Wife Allowed into Courtroom” (赵常青被羁押近一年出庭受审,妻子进入法庭旁听), April 10, 2014, WQW. http://wqw2010.blogspot.com/2014/04/blog-post_3306.html?spref=tw

[3] “Lawyers Sui Muqing, Jiang Yuanmin Threatened After Protesting Judicial Procedural Violations” (因抗议司法程序不公退庭 隋牧青、蒋援民二律师遭法官威胁), April 9, 2014, WQW; “Details of Trials of New Citizens’ Movement Members Ding Jiaxi and Zhang Baocheng” (新公民运动成员丁家喜、张宝成案庭审实况), April 8, 2014, WQW; “New Citizens’ Movement Series of Court Hearings, Scene is Heavily Guarded and Many Taken Away” (新公民运动系列案庭审,现场戒备森严多人被带走), April 8, 2014, WQW; “Citizens All Over Protest on Eve of Ding Jiaxi’s Trial” (丁家喜案开庭前夕,各地公民联名抗议), April 8, 2014, WQW; “Zhao Changqing Trial to Start Again on April 10” (赵常青案将于本月10日再次开庭), April 3 2014, WQW; “Ding Jiaxi Trial to Begin April 8, Court Issues Safety Check to Lawyer” (丁家喜案将于本月8日开庭,法院对律师安检), April 2, 2014, WQW.

[4] “China sentences two Tibetan village leaders to 10 years’ imprisonment in Diru County,” April 3, 2014, TCHRD.

 

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