Wang Qiaoling, January 15, 2017
Li Chunfu, a rights lawyer arrested during the 709 incident and the younger brother of lawyer Li Heping, was released “on bail” on January 12, mentally disturbed and physically frail. He has been diagnosed as having symptoms of schizophrenia and hospitalized. We learned from relatives that he was subjected to severe torture during his six months of “residential surveillance at a designated place,” China’s term for secret detention, including being locked up in a bed-sized metal cage for several stretches of time. More details to come. Once again, we urge the international human rights community to immediately begin an investigation into the extreme abuse that Li Chunfu, Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang, Wu Gan, Jiang Tianyong, and others targeted in the 709 arrests have suffered. – The Editors
Yesterday on the fourth floor of the Huilongguan Hospital (回龙观医院) in Beijing, sitting outside the examination ward, Bi Liping (毕丽萍), the wife of rights lawyer Li Chunfu (李春富), received a phone call from Officer Yang of the Tongzhou District, Jiaowang Village police station.
My sister-in-law is always calm and soft-spoken — but this time she roared into the phone. “Officer Yang, I’ve been cooperating with you people for 18 months now. You told me not to speak out, not to work with my sister-in-law, and I’ve followed what you said. But now look what has happened to Chunfu! His mind is shattered! Just what did you people do to him?! What did you do?! We’re not through with this!”
Sitting outside the clinic, Chunfu’s eyes would fix on whoever he was looking at, and he had trouble communicating with people smoothly. At one point he blurted out to the lawyer friends with us: “By the first six months of residential surveillance I’d already gone mad. I was shouting and screaming.”
I felt a cold sweat when I heard those words come from Chunfu’s mouth all of a sudden. I didn’t question him further. I just fixed my gaze on him, not daring to think or speak. He continued: “On January 5 they took me out of the detention center. They didn’t go through any procedures. A lot of people are going to lose their jobs! They did everything to me. But I didn’t do anything illegal; all I did was, once, stand outside the public security bureau in the Northeast with a placard demanding my right to see my client. They wanted me to write a confession, but I wouldn’t do it no matter what. I knew that if I did it they would capture it on camera behind me, and my brother Li Heping and other lawyers would all be harmed!” He paused for a moment, then added: “Don’t tell anyone this. A lot of people will be hurt.” These are Chunfu’s exact words, and I’m not sure everyone understands what he means.
Later that evening, Liping saw that Chunfu’s nerves had calmed down a bit, and she took him by the hand and asked him gently: “Have you not had medicine for a few days?”
Chunfu hesitated for a moment, then responded: “They gave me medicine every day. I haven’t had any the last few days. It’s unbearable…”
Chunfu did not have high blood pressure, and yesterday at the hospital the doctors said that his blood pressure was normal. But in the detention center the doctor forced him to take medicine every day, saying it was for his high blood pressure. And the “hypertension” medication began the first day he was arrested.
Liping and I couldn’t hold back anymore — tears welled up.
This morning we took Chunfu out for a walk. He asked in fright: “Will the police take away our whole family?”
Family members of the 709 lawyers,
Wang Qiaoling (王峭岭, wife of Li Heping [李和平], brother to Li Chunfu)
Li Wenzu (李文足, wife of Wang Quanzhang [王全璋])
Bi Liping (wife of Li Chunfu)
January 15, 2017
Addendum: A letter of thanks from Bi Liping
I want to thank all our friends! I also want to tell all family members of the 709 rights defense lawyers: don’t be kind and silent like me, or you’ll end up in the same situation I’m in. Stand up, expose the crimes of the Tianjin police. Show them to the light of day! I thank everyone again for their care. Your concern and love has given us the energy to persevere through this.
Bi Liping, wife of 709 lawyer Li Chunfu
January 15, 2017
An Update on Lawyer Li Chunfu’s Condition, January 14, 2017