< More News

Latest News

【Joint Complaint Letter by 64 Defense Counsels and Families in the “July 9” Incident】

To:

Zhang Dejian, Chairman, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China

Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China

Li Keqiang, Premier, State Council of the People’s Republic of China

Can Jianming, Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China

 

Since July 9, 2015 and under the direction of the Ministry of Public Security, police across the nation in China has illegally detained at least 14 lawyers and a number of civic activists in Beijing, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hunan, Zhejiang and elsewhere in the country. More than 300 lawyers and civic activists have also been forcibly summoned for questioning by far. This development, commonly referred to as the “709 Incident” or “709 Mass Crackdowns”, has shocked both the public at home and the international community.

We are the defense counsels and family members of the lawyers and civic activists illegally detained in the 709 Incident.

Until now, the published official documents we obtained from agencies responsible for these cases indicate that the agencies nominally responsible for the 709 incident are the local police in Tianjin, Changsha, Guangzhou, Nanning, Wenzhou and other localities. However, through the following channels we came to realize the real responsible agency is the Chinese Ministry of Public Security.

1.Since the beginning of the “July 9” Incident, around 300 lawyers and civic activists have been forcibly summoned for questioning by national security officers under the order of the Ministry of Public Security. During the questioning, the national security officers revealed that they are acting under the centralized instructions from the Ministry of Public Security.

2.In the course of defending the aforementioned detained lawyers and civic activists, the defense lawyers were told by the local police in Tianjin, Changsha, Guangzhou, Guilin, Wenzhou and other places that they were under the instructions of the Ministry of Public Security, and that they were not the decision-makers. When the Tianjin municipal procuratorate looked into the 709 Incident after the defense lawyers lodged a complaint, the prosecutors also found out that the Ministry of Public Security should be the agency really responsible for the crackdowns.

3. In handling the 709 incident, police in various localities have adopted measures that are shockingly consistent, i.e. [the detainees] have all been charged with “inciting subversion of state power” and placed under “residential surveillance at designated locations” without their family notified. They have been denied access to lawyers; and the lawyers were not given the identity of officers in charge of or any information about the cases. No communication has been allowed between the lawyers and the defendants.On the territory of China, only the Ministry of Public Security has the power to so systematically ignore the country’s Criminal Procedure Law.

4. More importantly, when CCTV, Xinhua News and the Global Times reported on the aforementioned cases, they all publicly claimed that actions were uniformly taken under the order of the Ministry of Public Security. The Ministry has by far not made any denial.

In light of the previous four points, we have sufficient reasons to believe that the Ministry of Public Security is taking the lead in trampling on the Criminal Procedure Law, and the other local police are following suit. Together, they have created a human rights disaster in which lawyers and civic activists are illegally arrested, detained incommunicado, and forcibly summoned for questioning. In handling the 709 crackdowns, the Ministry has completely thrown aside the Public Security Organs’ Procedural Regulations on the Handling of Criminal Cases promulgated by the Ministry itself.  With the manipulation of “closed-door politics” and the scepter of power, the Ministry has reneged on its own commitments, told lies, and gone against the global trends to seriously damage the rule of law progress in China.

Article 5 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China stipulates that: People’s Republic of China governs the country according to law and makes it a socialist country under rule of law. … All state organs, the armed forces, all political parties and public organizations and all enterprises and undertakings must abide by the Constitution and the law. All acts in violation of the Constitution and the law must be investigated. No organization or individual may enjoy the privilege of being above the Constitution and the law.

Article 33 stipulates that: …. The State respects and preserves human rights. ….

Rule according to law is the basic institution stipulated by the Constitution. It is also the basic national policy determined by the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee headed by Xi Jinping. Lawyers form an essential and indispensable pillar in the national policy of rule according to law. They should never be target of suppression, retribution and persecution. The Ministry of Public Security should not have strayed from the legal frame and targeted lawyers and civic activists using extralegal measures similar to those employed in the Cultural Revolution. As a mega disaster, there was no winner in the Cultural Revolution. We believe that the majority of conscientious Chinese would not want a repeat of history. For social upheavals will spare no one. They sweep up not only the ordinary individuals but also those in power.  They are detrimental to the rule according to law and run counter to the politics of modern civilization.

In fact, the Ministry of Public Security has not achieved the social stability and public loyalty they have expected by rampantly arresting lawyers and other civic activists nationwide. Quite the opposite, the Ministry’s lies, blatant law violations, and suppression by force have only led to public anxiety and festering anger that is barely concealed by enforced silence. People will find it hard to believe in the Chinese Communist Party leadership’s promise of governing the country by law. As defense of human rights according the law becomes harder by the day, and violent resistance becomes more commonplace. 

But it is never too late to make amends! As defense counsels and families of the aforementioned arrested lawyers and civic activists, we jointly present the following requests to the relevant agencies and departments:

1. We request the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to supervise the enforcement of the Constitution in the 709 Incident, in according with provisions under Article 67 of the Constitution, and we urge the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and Ministry of Public Security to investigate and hold accountable those responsible for illegal actions, so as to respect and preserve the basic human rights of the lawyers and civic activists arrested in the 709 Incident.

2. We hope that the Chinese President is able to fully recognize the damage the 709 Incident has done to the proceeding of rule of law in China, and that he would lead China in the march towards democratic rule of law with the vision and dignity worthy of a leader of a great nation.

3. We also invest our hope in the State Council of China to pay attention to the seriously unconstitutional and illegal acts by the Ministry of Public Security in the 709 Incident, and that it would order the Ministry of Public Security to immediately redress the aforementioned acts and put an end to the persecution of lawyers and civic activists arrested.

4.We demand that the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law and Rules for Criminal Procedure of the People's Procuratorate, investigates and holds accountable those in the Ministry of Public Security responsible for serious law violations; and orders the Ministry of Public Security to straighten its practices of arbitrary summons that are made without any evidence of criminal act, its maneouvres for arbitrary criminal detention and arbitrary secret detention. Specifically, we demand the State Council to:

 (1)  Order the Ministry of Public Security to amend its practice of arbitrarily arresting people without charge or any evidence of criminal acts, to review and reinvestigate the illegally arrests of lawyers and civic activists and the necessity of their arrests. If no evidence of criminal acts is found, they should be released immediately. If relevant evidence is found showing violations of the Criminal Law, the defendant must be properly detained or arrested, and secret detention must end.

(2)  Order the Ministry of Public Security to rectify the practice of mobilizing state media to smear and slander the lawyers and civic activists. Trial by media is completely inconsistent with the current legal tradition. Dissemination of information under a state monopoly of media amounts to a public smear campaign and achieves the unlawful objective of influencing judicial outcomes, which is a serious deviation from the spirit of the rule of law.

(3)  Order the Ministry of Public Security to earnestly and thoroughly enforce the Provisions on Legally Safeguarding the Lawyers' Rights to Practice Law, which the Supreme People’s Procuratorate has participated in formulating, so as to protect lawyers’ professional rights to defend their clients in accordance with the law, to meet their clients, to information, to communications, as well as to defend the lawful interests of their clients.

 (4)  Hold the Ministry of Public Security and police in various localities criminally and civilly accountable for the illegal acts they have committed.

We share the same dream of a China with rule of law. We hope that the Chinese authorities could deliver justice for the lawyers and civic activists illegally arrested in the 709 Incident, and give a shot of confidence for China’s imperiled rule of law, so as to reverse the tide and save the people from disaster!

Rule of law in China requires efforts from each and every Chinese! People from all walks of life, scholars, peasants, workers, and business people all have a responsibility! As the elite representatives of China’s leadership echelon, you all have inescapable responsibility!

 

Complainants: (Defense lawyers and families of lawyers and civic activists illegally arrested in the 709 Incident. The signatories are listed in alphabetical order by the pinyin of the first character)

 

Defense lawyers (including the ex-defense lawyers, 39 persons in total):

1. Cai Ying, Ma Lianshun (defense lawyers of Li Heping)

2. Chang Boyan, Long Lin (defense lawyers of Lin Bin)

3. Chen Yongfu, Huang Hanzhong, Lv Zhoubin (defense lawyers of Bao Longjun)

4. Chen Yixuan, Ge Yongxi (defense lawyers of Chen Taihe)

5. Qin Chenshou, Feng Yanqiang, Wei Liangyue (defense lawyers of Tang Zhishun)

6. Du Qingbo, Li Yongheng, Zhang Ren (defense lawyers of Xie Yuandong)

7. Gao Chengcai, Xiong Dongmei (defense lawyers of Li Chunfu)

8. Gao Chengcai, Ran Tong (defense lawyers of Xing Qingxian)

9. Ge Wenxiu, Wang Lei (defense lawyers of Liu Sixin)

10. Ge Wenxiu (defense lawyer of Zhai Yanmin)

11. Jiang Yuanmin, Liu Jinbin, Zhang Zhongshi (defense lawyers of Xie Yang)

12. Ji Zhongjiu (defense lawyer of Gou Hongguo)

13. Li Baiguang, Zheng Xiang (defense lawyers of Hu Shigen)

14. Li Baiguang (defense lawyer of Liu Peng)

15. Li Fangping, Yan Xin (defense lawyers of Wu Gan)

16. Li Jinglin (defense lawyer of Li Shuyun and Huang Yizi)

17. Li Yuhan, Wen Donghai (defense lawyers of Wang Yu)

18. Li Zhongwei, Yu Wensheng, Wang Qiushi (defense lawyers of Wang Quanzhang)

19. Lin Qilei (defense lawyer of Yin Xu’an and Zhang Wanhe)

20. Liu Zhengqing, Ran Tong (defense lawyers of Sui Muqing)

21. Liu Zhengqing (defense lawyer of Wang Fang)

22. Ren Quanniu, Yan Huafeng (defense lawyers of Zhao Wei)

23. Zhang Lei (defense lawyer of Zhang Kai)

 

Family (25 persons in total):

1. Bi Liping (Li Chunfu’s wife)

2. Fan Lili (Gou Hongguo’s wife)

3. Fang Sihe, Li Shenglan, Liu Meiling (Fang Xiangui’s parents and wife)

4. Gao Liang, Li Huihua (Gao Yue’s younger brother and mother)

5. Gao Shen (Tang Zhishun’s wife)

6. He Juan, Wei Wanxiu (Xing Qingxian’s wife and mother in law)

7. Hao Guirong, Zhang Zhimin (Zhang Kai’s parents)

8. Liu Ermin (Zhai Yanmin’s wife)

9. Liu Yinxin (Liu Sixin’s younger brother)

10. Liu Yonggao (Liu Yongping’s younger brother)

11. Li Wenzu, Wang Quanxiu (Wang Quanzhang’s wife and sister)

12. Lu Xiurong, Xie Yuanxia (Xie Yuandong’s mother and sister)

13. Sun Shihua (Sui Muqing’s wife)

14. Tong Yanchun (Wang Yu’s mother)

15. Wang Qiaoling (Li Heping’s wife)

16. You Minglei, Zheng Ruixia (Zhao Wei’s husband and mother)

17. Zhao Fengxia (Bao Longjun’s mother)

 

To:

Zhang Dejian, Chairman, Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China

Xi Jinping, President of China

Li Keqiang, Premier, State Council of China

Can Jianming, Procurator-General, Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China

 

Copy:

Wang Qishan, Secretary, Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China

Meng Jianzhu, Secretary,Central Politics and Law Commission of the Communist Party of China

Zhou Qiang, President, Supreme People’s Court of China

 

December 9, 2015

 

 

Annex I: List of names of lawyers and civic activists arrested in the “July 9” Incident (33 in total)

1. List of names of lawyers arrested in the “July 9” Incident

Bao Longjun, Chen Taihe, Huang Liqun, Li Chunfu, Li Heping, Li Shuyun, Liu Sixin, Sui Muqing, Wang Quanzhang, Wang Yu, Xie Yanyi, Xie Yang, Xie Yuandong, Zhang Kai, Zhou Shifeng

2. List of names of civic activists arrested in the “July 9” Incident

Fang Xiangui, Gou Hongguo, Gao Yue, Hu Shigen, Huang Yizi, Lin Bin, Liu Peng, Liu Yongping, Tang Zhishun, Wang Fang, Wu Gan, Xing Qingxian, Yao Jianqing, Yin Xu’an, Yan Xiaojie, Zhao Wei, Zhang Wanhe, Zhai Yanmin

 

Annex II: Joint Statement by the Defense Lawyers in the “July 9” Incident (Chinese only)

 

Top