September 6, 2017
A group of United Nations human rights experts has called on the Government of China to immediately release the prominent lawyer and human rights defender Jiang Tianyong, who is on trial for inciting subversion of the State’s power.
The experts’ appeal comes as Mr. Jiang awaits the Court’s verdict after his televised “confession” on 22 August, to seeking to overthrow China’s political system, which the experts described as “a worrying sign of China’s disregard for due process and the rule of law”.
“We urge the Chinese authorities to uphold the rule of law by respecting Mr. Jiang’s rights to a fair trial and to carry out his work as a professional lawyer and human rights defender,” they said.
Mr. Jiang, who was allegedly disappeared on 21 November 2016, has been detained and under surveillance at an unknown location for more than nine months, without access to his family or a lawyer of his own choosing. There are concerns that he, along with other lawyers and human rights defenders in detention, may have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment.
“Given the reported conditions of his detention and earlier cases of a similar nature highlighting an ongoing worrying trend, we are gravely concerned that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture, in contravention of the Chinese Criminal Procedures Law and international human rights standards, as reiterated by the Committee Against Torture in 2015,” the experts noted.
They also stressed the fact that the proceedings were not freely open to all interested members of the public to attend, while Mr. Jiang’s “confession” was broadcast on television and the Court’s social media; and that Mr. Jiang’s lawyer was dismissed by the authorities and had no access to him since his disappearance. “These factors clearly point to the serious shortcomings in guaranteeing a fair and impartial trial in accordance with international standards,” they said.
Jiang Tianyong’s sister, Jiang Jinping received a summon notice by the PSB in Luoshan County for the alleged crime of purposeful destruction of property yesterday. On 18 August 2017, before the trial of the case of Jiang, the local state security officers attempted to forcibly take his sister and sister’s child to the local police station and to confiscate her mobile phone. His sister resisted, took up a stick and knocked on their car.