China: Incommunicado detention of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong

January 9, 2017

OMCT Logo OMCT logo

CHN 001 / 0117 / OBS 002

Enforced disappearance /

Arbitrary and incommunicado detention /

Judicial harassment


January 9, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in China.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the incommunicado detention of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, a leader of the China Human Rights Lawyers Group[1] and an outspoken supporter of detained rights lawyers from the “709 Crackdown”[2].

According to the information received, since he was taken into custody by public security officers on November 21, 2016, Chinese authorities have failed to disclose Mr. Jiang Tianyong’s whereabouts and have prevented his lawyers from having access to him. Most recently, on December 29, 2016, Changsha Public Security Bureau rejected the request of his defence lawyer to meet him.

On November 21, 2016, Mr. Jiang Tianyong went missing as he was meant to board a train to Beijing from Changsha in Hunan Province, where he had met the wife and lawyers of Mr. Xie Yang, a “709 Crackdown” human rights lawyer currently detained at Changsha City Detention Centre[3]. Mr. Jiang’s family members and lawyers immediately reported his disappearance to the authorities. However, the police refused to file a missing person case.

On December 16, 2016, Chinese authorities finally confirmed through media reports that Mr. Jiang Tianyong had been taken into custody by public security officers, and given a nine-day administrative detention for “fraudulent use of another person’s ID”. They also specified that on December 1, 2016, he was placed under “compulsory criminal measures” for “illegally possessing documents classified as State secrets” (under Article 282 of Criminal Law) and “illegally disseminating State secrets to overseas [sources]” (Article 111) and other unnamed “crimes”. If convicted under Article 111, Mr. Jiang faces life imprisonment.

On December 23, 2016, Mr. Jiang’s family members received a notification from the Changsha City Public Security Bureau, informing that he had been put under residential surveillance at an unknown “place designated by the police”, a form of extrajudicial secret detention, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of State power” (Article 105 (2)). Under such circumstances, in the absence of access to his lawyers, the Observatory fears that Mr. Jiang might be subjected to torture to force him to confess while being interrogated.




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