Tag Archives: China

China: Former Rights Lawyer Tried in “Choreographed” Warning to Others

August 22, 2017

China begins trial against human rights lawyer

Activist and former rights lawyer  was tried for inciting subversion in Changsha on Tuesday, pleading guilty under what supporters suspect was heavy coercion. Jiang disappeared last November while visiting the family of Xie Yang, a rights lawyer detained in the sweeping Black Friday crackdown in 2015 who has since been tried for inciting subversion and is now reportedly under house arrest. In March, Jiang was publicly accused of helping fabricate Xie’s graphic accounts of torture in detention, and confessed to this on state TV, again under suspected coercion. The Guardian’s Tom Phillips reported on his trial, and his claims of being led astray by foreign instigators:

“I’m ashamed of it,” Jiang told the court, according to the English-language China Daily, which sent a correspondent to cover proceedings in a sign of Beijing’s determination to shape the narrative around the prosecution.

According to the state-run broadsheet, Jiang admitted to attending overseas training sessions where he was encouraged to reject China’s political system and ruling party. “So I wanted to make a change,” he reportedly said.

[…] In an online video released by the court, Jiang appears asking for clemency: “Please give me another chance to be a human being … and to make up for my wrongdoings … Once I am free I will never return to my old ways … I sincerely ask the court to set me on a path towards the sunshine.”

[…] In a front-page story, apparently timed to coincide with Tuesday’s trial, the China Daily quoted Chinese academics who heaped praise on the “transformative changes” witnessed since Xi became leader in late 2012. “China has made great progress in advancing the rule of law,” claimed Jiang Guohua, a law professor. [Source]

UC Berkeley law professor Stanley Lubman offered a more skeptical assessment at ChinaFile earlier this month, writing that progress exists “more in policy than in practice.”





http://www.rfa.org/mandarin/yataibaodao/renquanfazhi/yf1-08222017103322.html (MANDARIN)

http://vi.rfi.fr/chau-a/20170822-trung-quoc-mot-luat-su-bao-ve-nhan-quyen-%E2%80%9Cthu-nhan%E2%80%9D-toi-tai-toa (VIETNAMESE)

https://www.tvp.info/33690853/chinski-prawnik-przyznal-sie-do-dzialalnosci-wywrotowej-ngo-byl-torturowany (POLISH)

China/Hong Kong: Pro-Beijing lawmaker wants Occupy co-founder sacked from HKU post for ‘poisoning young minds’

August 21, 2017

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Pro-establishment lawmaker Junius Ho Kwan-yiu has called for the dismissal of a co-founder of the 2014 Occupy protests from his teaching post, saying that he is “unfit to teach” law at the city’s oldest university.

Speaking on a radio programme on Monday morning, Ho said he would write to the University of Hong Kong asking for Benny Tai Yiu-ting, who is a law professor at the school, to be removed.

“It is no longer appropriate for Benny Tai to teach at HKU given that he is teaching students how to maintain the rule of law under the spirit of advocating civil disobedience,” Ho said. “[He is] poisoning young minds … we cannot let this happen, he needs to be removed.”

Tai has been an associate dean on HKU’s law faculty since 2000, specialising in constitutional and administrative law, according to the university’s website.






China: Chinese activist on trial accused of subverting state power

August 22, 2017

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A prominent Chinese human rights activist is standing trial on charges of subversion of state power.

Parts of the Tuesday trial of Jiang Tianyong were broadcast by the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court in the central province of Hunan.

He is one of the last people detained in connection with a sweeping crackdown on lawyers and rights activists launched more than two years ago.

Jiang was a lawyer who took on politically sensitive cases. He was disbarred in 2009, but helped publicize the plight of lawyers arrested in the crackdown that began in July 2015.

He was taken away by state security agents in November and charged by prosecutors in May.

Vaguely defined subversion charges are frequently leveled against rights activists and perceived political foes of the ruling Communist Party.





















https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-rights-lawyer-jiang-tian-yong-on-trial-in-changsha/3995358.html (CHINESE)

http://cszy.chinacourt.org/article/detail/2017/08/id/2973186.shtml?from=groupmessage&isappinstalled=0 (CHINESE)

http://www.rfa.org/cantonese/news/lawyer-08222017100828.html (CANTONESE)

https://www.tdg.ch/monde/Il-avoue-avoir-voulu-ternir-l-image-de-Pekin/story/11685863 (FRANCAIS)

http://www.rfi.fr/asie-pacifique/20170822-chine-proces-avocat-defenseur-droits-homme (FRANCAIS)

http://www.tt.com/home/13348586-91/bekannter-b%C3%BCrgerrechtsanwalt-in-china-vor-gericht-gestellt.csp (DEUTSCH)

http://www.deutschlandfunk.de/china-buergerrechtsanwalt-vor-gericht-gestellt.1939.de.html?drn:news_id=783180 (DEUTSCH)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/china-buergerrechtsanwalt-jiang-tianyong-vor-gericht-gestellt-ld.1311991 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.oe24.at/welt/Nach-Treffen-mit-Merkel-Chinesischer-Buergerrechtler-vor-Gericht/296011121 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.dw.com/de/chinesischer-b%C3%BCrgerrechtsanwalt-jiang-tianyong-vor-gericht/a-40185891 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.de/inhalt.prozess-gegen-jiang-tianyong-bekannter-buergerrechtsanwalt-in-china-vor-gericht-gestellt.19d24409-4c08-4cc9-87f9-f718c690c6b0.html (DEUTSCH)

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/jiang-tianyong-prozess-gegen-chinesischen-buergerrechtler-a-1164045.html (DEUTSCH)

http://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-comienza-china-juicio-contra-prominente-abogado-derechos-humanos-jiang-tianyong-20170822070144.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.wradio.com.co/noticias/internacional/comienza-el-juicio-contra-conocido-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-jiang-tianyong/20170822/nota/3555796.aspx (ESPANOL)

http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20170822/43736780804/comienza-el-juicio-contra-conocido-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-jiang-tianyong.html (ESPANOL)

http://www.aftonbladet.se/senastenytt/ttnyheter/utrikes/article25728092.ab (SWEDISH)

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International Bar Association/China/Turkey/Burma: Human Rights Award 2017 Shortlisted Candidates

Ramazan Demir

Ramazan Demir is a Turkish human rights lawyer, who has in his young career he has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion, protection and advancement of the human rights of all, and of the Kurdish people in Turkey in particular. Since 2009, Ramazan has continued to represent victims, journalists, and lawyers in the Kurdish areas of Turkey. Unfortunately, due to his valuable human rights work, Ramazan has faced serious personal consequences as criminal charges have been brought against him twice. The second time, in April 2016, Ramazan has been charged with terrorist related activities, because of his work for TUAD (an association for relatives of prisoners in Southeast Turkey). Furthermore, the case-file against him clearly shows that his activities as a human rights lawyer and his relationship with the international human rights community were used as grounds for the accusations against him. Despite the fact that the trial is still on-going, Ramazan took up his work for victims of human rights violations again and continues working for them up until today. The next hearing will be on 13 September 2017. Members of the judging panel noted that in terms of Ramazan’s efforts in the protection and advancement of Human Rights, he has made “significant personal endeavours” and in terms of the international impact and sustainability, Ramazan has made “a high impact on defence work in extremely challenging and threatening circumstances”. Lawyers for Lawyers, the organisation that nominated Ramazan, because they believe he is “a prominent and fearless defender of the rule of law and human rights.”

U Ko Ni

U Ko Ni was an activist, lawyer, author and academic. He worked tirelessly against the military dominance in Myanmar, contributing to the repeal of certain controversial laws and vigorously advocating for the amending of the military drafted 2008 Constitution. The 2008 Constitution reserves 25 percent of parliamentary seats for the military, empowers the military to appoint the ministers of defense, home affairs, and border affairs, and allows the military to dissolve the government during a national emergency. In private conversations, U Ko Ni was frank about the need to reform the 2008 Constitution in order to tackle Myanmar’s most serious problems and to strengthen the rule of law. U Ko Ni also became increasingly concerned about the myriad of ways in which Muslims are marginalised and discriminated in Myanmar and was eager to find ways to make a difference, notably through discussing hate speech and hate crimes in Myanmar and potential solutions. Members of the judging panel noted that he was a “significant advocate for protection of minorities in Myanmar” and had an “outstanding track record.” U Ko Ni was assassinated on 29 January 2017, several INGOs and others condemned the assassination. The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), along with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada in their joint statement described U Ko Ni as somebody “who strongly advocated against religious discrimination and for inter-communal peace”, and called for “a prompt, impartial and effective investigation capable of identifying all those responsible and holding them accountable in a fair trial.”

Xie Yang

After an attempt to visit Chen Guangcheng, a laywer who was put under house arrest in Shandong province, which ended in a shocking and violent interception, Xie Yang, at the age of 38, made the decision to become a human rights lawyer. From then on, until his arrest in July 2015, Xie Yang represented dozens of human rights cases, confronted China’s human rights abuses and dictatorial ills, and spoke out fearlessly on China’s social media for his belief in democracy and universal human rights. Xie Yang was arrested during China’s ongoing crackdown on human rights lawyers and activists in July 2015, and then was subjected to 6 months of secret detention during which time he was cruelly tortured. Last November, 17 months after his arrest, Xie Yang was finally allowed to see his own lawyers where he requested that a thorough description of the torture he had suffered should be published to expose the widespread use of torture in China. The torture revelations marked a turning point, as the international outcry against torture made it impossible for China to continue its planned trials and sentences. The government signalled that it would release Xie Yang in “due time,” while since late February, Xie Yang’s lawyers have been prevented from meeting him. On May 8, Xie Yang was tried, and in the court and on camera he admitted guilty and denied torture. He was released on that day, but except for a couple of appearances in the company of police, he has been disappeared and his wife and relatives have not been able to contact him. Members of the judging panel noted Xie Yang had given an “outstanding personal sacrifice and commitment to the causes of human rights.”


China: Leading Chinese human rights activist caught in crackdown to go on trial for subversion

August 21, 2017

Image result for Jiang Tianyong

A Chinese human rights advocate who defended blind activist Chen Guangcheng and lawyer Gao Zhisheng is due to stand trial on subversion charges in central China on Tuesday.

Jiang Tianyong is expected to appear in the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan province on Tuesday morning as authorities wrap up prosecutions of legal activists netted in the sweeping “709” crackdown two years ago

In a show of support for Jiang, the wives of two other 709 activists left Beijing on Monday for Changsha to try to attend Jiang’s trial, according to Wang Qiaoling, one of the women.

Jiang, 46, was formally charged in late May with “subverting state power”.

The former lawyer took on politically sensitive cases such as those of Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetan protesters until he was disbarred in 2009.

But Jiang continued his human rights activism and helped prominent rights defenders.

He disappeared in November last year after travelling to Changsha to visit rights lawyer Xie Yang, who was detained in the crackdown in July 2015. A month later, authorities confirmed they were holding Jiang on suspicion of inciting subversion.



https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-rights-lawyer-jiang-tian-yong-on-trial-in-changsha/3995358.html (CHINESE)






#JiangTianyong‘s trial in Changsha starts, even broadcasted on the court’s weibo: old tactics like some other #709crackdown trials.


#無罪釋放江天勇律師 #FreeLawyerJiangTianyong

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(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組 Facebook)

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(China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group / 中國維權律師關注組)

China/The Netherlands: Disappeared human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang shortlisted for human rights prize

August 21, 2017

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Human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, who has been disappeared by the Chinese state since August 2015, has been shortlisted for the Dutch Human Rights Tulip Award. Public voting will begin on 28 August. He needs your support and your vote. Stay tuned for information on how to vote and check back on twitter for the hashtag #Tulip4Wang





China: China’s New Torture Methods

August 19, 2017

“In China, we say that for a person meditating in a cave, a day passes as though it were a thousand years; it is like paradise. And where did I experience paradise? In there in the detention center, being tortured. A day was like a thousand years. That’s how it felt.”

The disturbingly aged and altered face of the human rights lawyer sharing this observation gave me a sense of what he had been through during his most recent detention, and what colleagues who remained ‘in there,’ including Jiang Tianyong and Wang Quanzhang, might still be suffering.

Like my interlocutor, they are victims of the latest attack on this tiny and embattled section of the Chinese legal profession. The 709 Crackdown —so called after the date it began, on the night of 7 July 2015 when Lawyers Wang Yu, Bao Longjun and their child were detained—has been the largest so far and now affects hundreds of lawyers. Lawyer Wang Yu in her testimony published on 12 July and other lawyers including Xie Yang have disclosed some details about their experience of detention and forced disappearance, coercive interrogation and torture, and informal house arrests.

During some recent chats about their experience of the criminal justice’system as suspects, defendants, and defence lawyers in the 709 Crackdown, my interlocutors mentioned details that sounded grimly familiar.



Robert Fulford: China’s leader Xi Jinping has assumed the role of a dictator