China Change, September 18, 2015
Wife of human rights lawyer Chen Taihe issued the following statement yesterday:
My name is Jiang Jie (江洁); I’m the wife of Chen Taihe (陈泰和), and I currently reside in San Francisco. On the morning of July 12, my husband Chen Taihe was taken away by domestic security police (国保) in Guilin City, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The following day authorities issued the notice of criminal detention. On July 15, a friend put the notice online, and that very day I was summoned by the police and threatened with detention. Our home was raided twice on July 15 and 25.
On August 5, I made the arduous journey to America, where I know no one, with my 7-year-old son. Because of our haste, we brought only a few changes of clothes, some personal effects, and a small amount of cash. The day I arrived in the United States I found that all the bank and brokerage accounts in the name of myself and my husband had been frozen. When I enquired about the matter by telephone I was told that the order to freeze the accounts was given by the public security bureau of Qixing District, Guilin City. They declined to provide a reason.
I’m now here with my seven-year-old son, while five months pregnant, and have no access to the savings accumulated through years of hard work by my husband. We have no economic means, no health insurance.
My husband is currently under residential surveillance. He is extremely anxious about the situation of me and my son, but there is nothing he could do to help.
What I’d like to know is: What has motivated [the Chinese government] to drive a woman and her child to such a state of desperation?
September 17, 2015
According to weiquanwang, Jiang Jie told human rights defenders in the U. S. that, Chen Taihe was released from detention on August 22 and has since been placed under residential surveillance at home. On August 18 or 19, he was forced to confess wrongdoings. The authorities told him that if he didn’t cooperate, they would continue to harass and detain him. His wife said that the authorities taped Chen several times until they were satisfied with what they got.
Jiang Jie asked the opinion of lawyer Ge Yongxi (葛永喜) about the video confession. Lawyer Ge believes that, “Forcing him to confess in front of the camera doesn’t mean he will be indicted [for the “crimes” he has confessed]. More likely the tape will be used in two ways: 1) To continue the campaign of shaming and denigrating human rights lawyers on CCTV, and 2) show the tape to human right conferences or use it during Xi Jinping’s U. S. visit to deflect criticism of the international community: Look, this law professor has confessed his crimes, and you should not interfere with our internal affairs and our judicial process.”
Chen Taihe is a law professor at Guilin University of Electronic Technology. He concurrently worked as a lawyer, serving as a legal consultant for many organizations and acting as legal counsel to petitioner Zhang Xiaoyu. Chen Taihe has been an avid promoter of the Anglo-American jury system and published a book on the subject entitled The Most Common Rights (《最普通的权利》). Chen’s efforts to promote juries in China have encountered many forms of government interference.
On July 13, Chen Taihe was placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “provoking a serious disturbance.” According to his lawyer, Chen’s arrest may be connected with efforts to organize a “Jury System” WeChat group and his links to lawyer Li Heping. Chen’s lawyer also said that Chen is being held together with three death-row prisoners in a cell less than four square meters in size.
He is currently under residential surveillance (监视居住) according to his wife, but no one has seen any legal document to indicate his change of status.
From China, Messages to President Obama Before Xi Jinping’s Visit (2), by Jiang Tianyong, September 17, 2015.
From China, Messages to President Obama Before Xi Jinping’s Visit (1), by Liu Shihui, September 16, 2015.