August 12, 2016
Statement by Xie Yang’s Family on His Torture
(acknowledgement: translation by China Change)
Our beloved Xie Yang, a lawyer from Hunan, was one of the individuals arrested during the “709” crackdown. On July 11 at 5:40 a.m., he was taken away on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power” and “disturbing public order,” and was placed under residential surveillance at a designated place. Later, he was locked up in the Changsha No. 2 Detention Center in Hunan.
A couple of days ago an individual familiar with the situation revealed that last August, Xie Yang was subject to torture at the location he was being held in — he had yelled out of the window for help while the police weren’t watching, and was then beaten unconscious, before being sent to the 163 Hospital for emergency rescue. This July at the Changsha No. 2 Detention Center, the authorities purposefully arranged death row criminals to move into his prison cell. He was first provoked, and then savagely bashed with the iron manacles of the death row prisoners, leading him to suffer severe bodily harm. If the above is investigated and ascertained to be true — that the Changsha No. 2 Detention Center abused its power by subjecting a detainee to illegal violence — then, as family members, we express our extreme shock and fury. We strongly censure the relevant authorities and urge that they cease the violation of human rights of Xie Yang, investigate those guilty of abuse and the public officials who bear responsibility for it, and together safeguard the reputation of China as a great country subject to the rule of law.
Lawyers are the workers of the laws of a society, and they lay the foundation of modern civilization. According to the regulations in China’s Lawyer’s Law (律师法), the duty of a lawyer is to defend the legal rights of his clients, ensure the correct implementation of the law, and safeguard fairness and righteousness in society. As family members of Xie Yang, we have always considered him to be a hero, and we are proud of him and the sacredness of his profession. For years Xie Yang has been a pillar of spiritual support for his parents — he’s the backbone of our whole family. Among his siblings, Xie Yang has been the one who called his aging parents the most, checking how they were doing and letting them know that he was all right. He belongs to a big family of six married siblings, but he is close to everyone and maintains regular contact with each of them because of his warm-hearted nature. Whenever his parents visit him in the city, he always receives them happily. After disaster befell him, no one in the family has been at peace.
Xie Yang is a person with a strong sense of righteousness. Whenever his brothers or sisters find themselves in difficulty, he does everything to help them out, seldom refusing, and so has an excellent reputation back home. He treats his friends and colleagues honestly, he’s generous, and he fights for what’s right. We believe that Xie Yang has never once had the unlawful motive of “inciting subversion of state power.” He has simply exhibited uncommon courage and bravery in the face of abuses of public power and violations of the law.
Firstly, in the various public incidents that he was involved, the portion of illegal or suspected-to-be-illegal activities of public officials cannot be equated with the government, and even less be equated with “state power.” Punishing and lodging complaints against these individuals, within the scope of the law, does not undermine the foundation of the regime — instead it does the opposite, restraining the illegal use of state power and ensuring the right of supervision conferred upon citizens by the constitution. It also assists to drive forward the progress of the rule of law in China, and is beneficial to China’s transformation to rule of law. On the other hand, not respecting the right of the citizenry to supervise officials creates a breeding ground for a corrupt bureaucracy, bringing no benefits but myriad harms to the state and the people.
Secondly, Xie Yang was born and raised in the countryside and later established himself modestly in Changsha. He didn’t come from power or wealth and has no political capital. To put it plainly, he’s simply a commoner. Saying that someone like him is “inciting subversion” is like “accusing a mantis of trying to stop a chariot.” Those who really have the power to oppose the Party, those who lust for power, are the likes of Bo Xilai. It’s not us humble commoners without authority or power. If the relevant organs insist on fixing the crime of “inciting subversion” on Xie Yang, it will really be an unbelievable charge. It will also leave behind an inglorious page in the history of China’s path to becoming a great country ruled by law!
In sum, we hope that the relevant departments will conscientiously carry out their duties, respect the objective facts, not take a predetermined stance, not make up “the true circumstances,” and truly ensure that the basic rights of citizens are not violated. Our entire family is awaiting the arrival of justice.
Jointly undersigned by Xie Yang’s family:
Father Xie Huicheng (谢惠成)
Mother Liang Fengying (梁风英)
Sister-in-law Huang Yi (黄仪)
Older brother: (谢扬军)
Eldest sister Xie Cuiping (谢翠平)
Brother-in-law Xiao Song (肖松)
Second older sister Xie Baolian (谢保连)
Brother-in-law Qin Mingnan (秦名南)
Third older sister Xie Chilian (谢池连)
Brother-in-law Huang Yuanyou (黄渊友)
Fourth older sister Xie Wanlian (谢晚连)
Brother-in-law Yuan Bangqun (袁邦群)
Younger sister Xie Juping (谢菊平)
Brother-in-law Lin Youguo (林又国)
Nephew Xie Xuhua (谢续华)
Nephew’s wife Ning Haiyan (宁海燕)
source: China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 (Facebook)