Call on China to immediately release lawyer Tang Jitian, who has been extralegally detained since December 2021

June 12, 2022

Chinese human rights lawyer Tang Jitian (唐吉田) has been detained extralegally since December 10, 2021 by Beijing and Jilin state security under the pretext of “maintaining stability,” while his only daughter, Tang Zhengqi, is in a coma in Japan.

We understand that Mr. Tang has recently made repeated requests to the head of the State Security Bureau of Yanji City and the State Security Detachment of Yanbian Prefecture Public Security Bureau to end his inhumane and illegal detention. However, they all refused, saying that they needed to ask for instructions and consent from the State Security Bureau of the Jilin Provincial Public Security Department, the Beijing Public Security Bureau, and the Ministry of Public Security.

Mr. Tang has explained to the these agencies that his daughter is critically ill, that her care can no longer be delayed, and that continuing his detention will aggravate her condition and endanger her life. He said further that she is also in desperate financial difficulty.

Ms. Tang, who is suffering from severe tuberculosis, has been hospitalized at St. Luke’s Hospital in Tokyo for more than a year. She faces many challenges that only he, her father, can solve, including arranging for her treatment and raising the necessary funds to cover the costs of her medical care. He said that there is no one else who can take responsibility for these matters. Though his ex-wife, Liu Fenglan, is now in Japan taking care of their daughter on her own, Ms. Liu is suffering from both physical and psychological pain, and is on the verge of a breakdown.

Despite this dire situation, the Chinese government has deprived Mr. Tang of his personal freedom, leaving his ex-wife to struggle alone under the burden of such a devastating disaster, which is a complete violation of basic human decency.

Mr. Tang’s own health has been deteriorating since his detention. Due to previous beatings by the Chinese police, his thighs and elbows were injured; the recurring pain is often unbearable. In addition, he is also suffering from lumbar spine tuberculosis and there is a high risk this his condition could flare up again at any time. He needs to receive regular medical checkups for his medical condition, but he has not been examined by a physician since last year; he is now overdue to have another exam. Furthermore, Mr. Tang receives little sunlight in custody and has no access to normal activities.

In addition, because of worry for his daughter, he has been feeling quite depressed and as a result, his blood sugar levels have risen dangerously. Mr. Tang’s gums are swollen and bleeding, the corners of his mouth are blistered, and he suffers from impaired vision. We recently learned that on the night of June 3, Mr. Tang suddenly collapsed while using the toilet, hitting his head on the ground. He has shown symptoms of a concussion from his fall.

The Chinese government must not turn a blind eye to his suffering and allow yet another tragedy to happen.

Tang Jitian was a prosecutor who could have enjoyed a comfortable life working for the Party and the State. However, for the sake of the rule of law and democracy in China, he decided to become a human rights lawyer to defend the dignity of the law and protect the basic human rights of the Chinese people.

Mr. Tang has been subjected to horrific persecution by the Chinese government. He has been repeatedly harassed, followed, illegally detained and even brutally beaten for his defense of human rights. The Chinese government has done this under the pretext of maintaining stability. Furthermore, his lawyer’s license was illegally revoked by the Chinese authorities in 2010 after he tried to promote direct elections in the Lawyer’s Association.

However, he has never given up fighting on the front lines to defend human rights. As a result, Mr. Tang was recognized for his important work when he was given the 2018 “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” Human Rights Prize of the French Republic, awarded each year by the Prime Minister of the French Government.

Mr. Tang and his family urgently need help. We appeal to the international community and all UN member states to:

  1. Urge the Chinese government to release Tang Jitian immediately. He is not a criminal; he is an honorable citizen of China. The Chinese government should not continue to detain him without due process and should not violate his basic personal freedom.
  2. Call on the Chinese government to allow Tang Jitian to fulfill his duty as a father to personally care for his critically ill daughter, and urge China to give him back his lawyer’s license in accordance with the law, and allow him to work normally.
  3. Ask the Chinese government to, out of basic respect for humanity, allow Tang Jitian to visit Japan to care for his daughter.  

We call on the international community to urge the Chinese government to respect and protect human rights and to fulfill its international obligations to protect human rights as a member of the international community. We also urge China to immediately restore the personal freedom of lawyer Tang Jitian.















联署名单 / Co-signatories (前35位联署人为呼吁书共同发起人):

周锋锁,人道中国主席 Zhou Fengsuo,  President of Humanitarian China

傅希秋,对华援助协会创办人 Bob Fu, founder of China Aid

方政,中国民主教育基金会会长 Fang Zheng, president of Chinese Democracy Education Foundation

张菁,中国妇权创办人 Zhang Jing, founder of Women’s Rights in China

孙立勇,澳大利亚中国政治及宗教受难者后援会召集人 Sun Liyong, convener of China Political and Religious Victims Association

彼得·达林,人权卫士创办人 Peter Dahlin, Director of Safeguard Defenders China Action

万延海,公共卫生专家 Wan Yanhai, public health expert

慕亦仁,美国记者 Paul Mooney, American journalist

阿古智子,东京大学教授 Tomoko Ako, Professor, the University of Tokyo

朴成秀,韩国民主人士 South Korea‘s pro-democracy campaigner

巴雷特·麦考密克,美国教授 Barrett L. McCormick, Professor Emeritus, Marquette University

艾莉森·w·康纳,美国法学教授 Alison W. Conner, Professor of Law Emerita, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

约瑟夫黄宗泽,美国国防部(退休)Joseph Bosco, Dept. of Defense (ret.)

科林·霍斯,澳大利亚法学教授 Colin Hawes, Professor of Law University of Technology Sydney

苏晓康,流亡作家 Su Xiaokang, exiled writer

杨子立,公民运动学者 Yang Zili, citizens’ movement scholar

王天成,宪政学者 Wang Tiancheng, constitutional law scholar

滕彪,人权律师 Teng Biao, human rights lawyer and scholar

刘巍,人权律师 Liu Wei, human rights lawyer 

刘士辉,人权律师 Liu Shihui, human rights lawyer 

王清鹏,人权律师 Wang Qingpeng, human rights lawyer 

吴绍平,人权律师 Wu Shaoping, human rights lawyer 

向莉,人权捍卫者 Xiang Li, human rights defender

李方,人权捍卫者 Li Fang, human rights defender

耿和,高智晟律师妻子 Geng He, wife of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng (currently detained)

罗胜春,丁家喜妻子 Sophie Luo, wife of human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi (currently detained)

董广平,民主人士 Dong Guangping, pro-democracy campaigner

王剑虹,张展关注组发起人 Jane Wang, Free Zhang Zhan campgaigner

赵中元,加拿大 Zhao Zhongyuan, Canada

赵昕,美国 Zhao Xin, USA

邱家军,自由中国运动召集人 John Churchill, convener of Free China Movements

陈立群,美国 Chen Liqun, USA

葛洵,美国 Ge Xun, USA

成秋波,美国 Cheng Qiubo, USA

张海,中国 Zhang Hai, China

李隽,澳大利亚 Li Juan, Australia

王龙蒙,法国 Wang Longmeng, France

孟元新,美国 Meng Yuanxin, USA

王瑞琴,美国 Anna Wang, USA



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