September 24, 2019
UN human rights experts* have called upon China to immediately end harassment and surveillance of prominent human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong.
Mr. Jiang was initially forcibly disappeared for a period and then sentenced in November 2017 to two years in prison for inciting subversion of State power. He was released in February this year.
“Despite his release, Mr. Jiang is not a free man. He remains under constant surveillance by the authorities and his movement is severely restricted. He continues to be punished, along with his family and friends, with harassment and intimidation by the authorities,” said the experts. They noted that while this is being done on the ground that he has been deprived of his political rights for three years, such treatment is both gratuitously punitive and legally unjustified.
The experts also expressed concern about Mr. Jiang’s lack of access to appropriate medical care, especially in view of his deteriorating health. “As a result of ill-treatment in prison, he reportedly suffers from high blood pressure, memory loss, poor vision, and swollen legs and feet which hinder his mobility. However, he has not been allowed to see a doctor of his own choice to seek appropriate medical care,” said the experts.
UN human rights experts had previously condemned Mr. Jiang’s conviction and expressed concern that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture. They also raised concern that his enforced disappearance and conviction may have occurred, at least in part, in reprisal for his cooperation with the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, during his visit to China in August 2016. The Secretary-General has also noted allegations of continued reprisals against Mr. Jiang, in his latest report on reprisals against those who cooperate with the United Nations.