September 25, 2019
Authorities controlled human rights lawyer Xie Yang and a Chinese citizen, Chen Yanhui, this evening when they were discussing the Sept. 23 death of Wang Meiyu, a prisoner who died in the Hengyang Detention Center.
In the middle of Xie and Chen’s conversation at the Shennong Hotel in Hengyang, Hunan, six armed SWAT team members rushed in and contained them. Plainclothes police and hotel employees watched the room’s doorway, while the SWAT team members handled the staircase.
Xie’s wife, Chen Guiqiu, noted on social media that he was still being controlled as of 1:16 a.m. on Sept. 26 Beijing time. Her attempts to contact him have been unsuccessful, leading her to believe he is still being restricted by the officials.
Xie was previously taken into police custody for his human rights work on July 11, 2015, as part of a nationwide crackdown on rights attorneys known colloquially as the “709 Incident.” During Xie’s time in prison, he revealed that he had been tortured and that the lawyers appointed by his family were prevented from meeting him numerous times. To combat these accusations, China launched a propaganda campaign, claiming the reports were false. They also forced Xie Yang to deny his torture allegations during his trial.Prior to his trial, Xie made a written declaration stating that he was not guilty of subversion, the charge which authorities used to imprison him, and said he would not plead guilty unless it was for the sake of his family or because of torture.
N.B. UPDATE 26/09/19:
Lawyer Xie Yang and HRD Chen Yanhui were finally released at 15:00 today 26 September after 14 hours of arbitrary detention in their hotel rooms. The truth of Wang Meiyu’s death remains to be investigated.
謝陽律師和公民陳燕慧在9月26日下午3:00左右已經被釋放, 目前安全。此前他們被非法控制長達14個小時。王美余的死亡真相, 仍有待調查。
昨晚23:20 謝陽律師及公民陳燕慧在湖南省衡陽市神龍大酒店商量「公民王美余9月23日於衡陽看守所離奇死亡」一案， 突然被衝進來的6名荷槍特警限制在房間裡。
【Chinese 709 Human Rights Lawyer Xie Yang Detained by Armed Police in Hotel Room】
#UPDATE: We have gotten in touch with Lawyer Xie and Chen, they are both now safe
At 23:20 yesterday evening, Lawyer Xie Yang and citizen Chen Yanhui were discussing the case of the sudden death of citizen Wang Meiyu at Hengyang Detention Centre, which took place on 23rd September. Six armed police officer bursted in and detained the two inside the room.
We have yet to be able to contact Xie and Chen, with calls to their phones going unanswered. We are also unable to contact the family members of Wang Meiyu, as their phones are all out of service.
(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook, 26/09/19)