Chen Jinxue, Qin Chenshou, March 1, 2017
On March 1, 2017, the Global Times, led by Hu Xijin (胡锡进), published a report claiming that it has interviewed Jiang Tianyong. As Jiang Tianyong’s defense lawyers, we make the following statement:
1. Defense lawyers have applied no fewer than three times to meet Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) since his disappearance on November 21, 2016, to no avail. The reason given to us is that meeting our client would obstruct the investigation or possibly divulge state secrets — yet apparently unrelated parties, and Global Times journalists, claim to have seen Jiang Tianyong.
Our position has always been: lawyers meeting their clients cannot possibly obstruct the investigation or divulge state secrets, and according to the Criminal Law, when a person has been subjected to coercive measures, his or her lawyers shall meet with the client promptly. This is also an internationally-recognized standard for criminal procedures aimed at transparency. Furthermore, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also repeatedly reiterates this right.
We are concerned about whether there is any legal basis for allowing Global Times journalists, whose credibility and trustworthiness are questionable, to meet Jiang Tianyong while denying lawyers’ access, and we seek to know whether the government is abusing power in doing so. A quick consultation of the law makes clear that there is no law granting a greater priority to so-called journalists or unrelated parties than to lawyers to see their client, and that this is a typical act of the government abusing its power. Global Times is humiliating Jiang Tianyong, and also lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳), by parading them before the media and trying them unlawfully through public opinion.
As Jiang’s defense lawyers, we condemn the Changsha Public Security Bureau and Global Times for these illegal acts, and we will initiate to a series of legal actions immediately, filing complaints and bringing suits.
2. Keeping captives in long-term solitary confinement, and preventing them from seeing their lawyers and family, at the very least violates the provision against “degrading treatment or punishment” as stipulated in the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture. If the solitary confinement extends to three years, or if corporal punishment or a disguised form thereof is employed — such as cruel psychological torture — then it is outright torture. Torture and abusive treatment are often difficult to separate, and abuses often follow closely behind torture. In assessing the length and specific circumstances of their detention, there is every reason to believe that Xie Yang and Jiang Tianyong have been abused in custody, and the lengthy denial of visitation by their lawyers or family members simply adds to reasonable suspicions that the two have in fact been tortured.
3. The authorities giving access to Jiang Tianyong to Hu Xijin’s media, under the circumstances that his own lawyers cannot even reach him, can only be seen as a way of legitimizing, defending, and attempting to erase the abuse suffered in custody. The intent is malicious and the obvious fawning to state power contemptible. The lawyers of Jiang Tianyong do not approve of the interview having taken place or of its content.
4. A so-called “investigation team” is purportedly investigating Xie Yang’s torture and mistreatment, yet it does not include Xie Yang’s own defense lawyers, members of the lawyers association to which Xie Yang belongs, independent forensic experts, or any other independent third parties. The “report” it produces will not meet the requirements of the UN Convention Against Torture (CAT) in terms of principle, procedure and personnel. It will have no credibility to speak of and will be nothing but a laughingstock.
5. We are indignant about the fact that, in dealing with Jiang Tianyong’s case, the public security authorities have more than once brought media, who are unrelated parties, to see our client while repeatedly denying the right of Jiang Tianyong’s lawyers or his family members to see him. On December 16, 2016, public security authorities provided a news release to The Paper (《澎湃》) and other outlets smearing Jiang. In China, the government controls all media while the lawyers and families have no platform to speak to the public about the matter. Such a stark contrast and imbalance hinders the exposure of torture and other inhumane treatment. Nor does it help the investigation and punishment of those responsible.
6. We demand that the Changsha Public Security Bureau immediately arrange lawyers to meet with Jiang Tianyong, stop the inhumane treatment, and brief defense lawyers about his case.
All China Lawyers Association 中华全国律师协会
Lawyers Association of Guangzhou 广东省（广州市）律师协会
Lawyers Association of Nanjing 广西区（南宁市）律师协会
Changsha Public Security Bureau 长沙市公安局（直属分局)
Hunan People’s Procuratorate (Changsha People’s Procuratorate) 湖南省检察院（长沙市检察院）
Supreme People’s Procuratorate 最高人民检察院
Ministry of Public Security 公安部
Lawyer Chen Jinxue, Guangdong Lucheng Dingbang Law Firm
广东律成定邦律师事务所, 陈进学律师, Tel. 13826002506
Lawyer Qin Chenshou, Guangxi Baijuming Law Firm
广西百举鸣律师事务所, 覃臣寿律师, Tel. 15289649064
March 1, 2017
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (1) – Arrest, Questions About Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (2) – Sleep Deprivation
Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (3) – Dangling Chair, Beating, Threatening Lives of Loved Ones, and Framing Others
Translated from Chinese by China Change.