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"709 Trials" Facts of the Alleged Crime in the Trial of Jiang Tianyong

 “Facts of the Alleged Crime”

  1. Online Expressions, Interview by Offshore Media

 

Since 2009, Jiang Tianyong published roughly thirty-three thousand tweets via online platforms such as Tweeter and Weibo, attracted thirty-seven thousand followers. Of all tweets, 214 tweets were seen as directly attacking the central government, inciting subversion of the state; while 148 instances were classified as having interview with offshore media and 70 instances being seen as directly attacking the central government, inciting subversion of the state.

 

  1. Supporting the Case of 709 Zhou Shifeng and Others

 

In July 2016, knowing that the case of Zhou Shifeng and others (who are all from Beijing Feirui Law Firm) would be tried at Tianjin Intermediate Court in early Aug 2016, Jiang “incited” others to “assemble and provoke troubles” outside the Court before 1st Aug 2016. He was also interviewed by Voice of America, further discredited the judiciary of PRC, creating unfavorable political impact.

 

  1. Supporting the Case of 709 Zhang Kai

 

In August 2015, Zhang Kai, originally from Bejing Xin Qiao Law Firm, was put under criminal detention by public security organ for the alleged crime of assembling crowd to disrupt social order. Zhang was released on bail pending trial in March 2016. Since then, Jiang approached Zhang via Telegram, inciting Zhang and his family to stand against the judiciary branch and subsidized him with one Apple iPhone and a sum of money provided by an offshore anti-Chinese organization to which Jiang had applied, totaling RMB 23326.

 

  1. Supporting the case of 709 Xie Yang

 

In July 2015, Xie Yang, originally from Hunan Wei Gang Law Firm, was imposed of a series of compulsory measures as he was suspected of subversion of the state. In October 2016, Jiang instructed wife of Xie Yang to make up stories on ‘Xie Yang experienced tortures during detention’ and he modified some of the articles. Jiang also made use of social networking media to share the article “Go ahead, Friends! Go Witness the Law-Violating History of the Case of Xie Yang”, inciting Chen Guiqiu and other related parties to start the so-called “Visit Xie Yang Action”, at the same time, Jiang, with the intention to pressurise the Central government and judiciary branch and gravely undermine the image of the later, made use of Telegram and WeChat to tweet related articles as well as false statement published on offshore website, incited others to tweet his posts, and then misguided them to harbour groan and discontent towards the existing system and the judiciary branch.

 

  1. Supporting the Case of 709 Liu Xing

 

In June 2015, Liu Xing was imposed of compulsory measures for the alleged crime of assembling crowds to disrupt social order and he was detained in detention center in Wei Fang City. In November 2016, Jiang incited related parties to go visit and support detainees via Telegram. He also suggested ways of “depositing money for Liu Xing” and tweeting “Go Ahead with Love, Watch and Help Each Other – 709 Families Concern the Arrested Citizens in Wei Fang” to stir up discussion on the matter, misguiding the uninformed citizens to channel discontent towards the judiciary branch.

 

Gestures outside the Court

1. Roads blocked around the Court, A Bunch of Policemen and Plainclothes Policemen Stood By

1. On 21st August 2017 afternoon, a day before Jiang’s trial, Changsha Transportation Bureau issued an urgent notification, saying some of the roads and areas had to be closed down as Shu Guang Road and Guihua Road were undergoing urgent repair work.” It was the areas surrounding Changsha Intermediate Court that were blocked.

2. Citizens, Lawyers and Diplomats not Allowed to Attend the Hearing

  1. Changsha Intermediate Court said on its website, NPCSC representatives, CPPCC congressmen, legal scholars, lawyers, family members of Jiang, and all other representatives including offshore journlalists, all togther around 40 people attended the hearing, with only rights activists, rights lawyers and diplomats not allowed to attend.
  2. On 21st Aug 2017 morning, lawyers revealed that they received calls from national security officers who requested face-to-face meeting and asked if they would go to Changsha to attend Jiang’s hearing.
  3. On 21st Aug 2017 14h00, Lawyer Xie Yang was forced to leave Changsha and “travelled” to Liuyang.
  4. On 21st Aug 2017 23h00, Lawyer Ma Lianshun was placed under control by three national security officers when he was at Xie Yang’s home in Hexi, Changsha. They forbade Ma to go to the Court the next day and claimed more than 2000 police officers would stand by around the Court.
  5. On 22nd Aug 2017 09h00, He Jiawei was brought to Guitang detention centre in Yuhua district in Changsha.
  6. On 22nd Aug 2017 11h00, Zhuzhou government sent around ten national security officers to block residents of Zhu Zhou outside the Court. Chen Siming and Guo Dasheng were on the way back to the detention centre in Zhuzhou.
  7. On 22nd Aug 2017 12h00, six human rights diplomats were prohibited to enter the Court for the hearing.
  8. Until 22nd Aug 2017 14h00, supporters who got arrested outside the Court included He Jiawei (He Junhui), Guo Sheng, Chen Siming, Peng Peiyu (Peng Songhua), etc.

3. Ticket Pass to Attend the Hearing was Issued by Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee

On 21st August 2017, at 15h55, Lawyer Ma Lianshun arrived at Changsha Intermediate Court and asked about attending hearing of the case of Jiang. It was not until 16h27 did the bailiff (numbered 431001, surnamed Luo, probably a vice-captain of the bailiff team) gave a disappointing reply that one could only attend the hearing with the ticket pass issued by the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee. Normally, lawyers can sit in the hearing with his/her lawyer ID card however such practice does not work as the present one was classified as special case.

4. Families and Lawyers received no notice of hearing from the Court

On 21st August 2017, Zhang Lei published the following news – on 20th August 2017, I accepted Jiang’s father’s appointment and have promptly informed the investigatory unit. I have been to Changsha 1st Detention Centre for three times to request for a meet-up with Jiang but got unlawfully turned down. If the prosecution organ is to protect the right to litigation of my client, they should have informed me to attend the hearing but I have not yet received any notice of hearing on the case of Jiang. I say the investigatory unit has undermined the right to litigation of Jiang as, for the three visits I paid to the detention center, they referred me to the investigatory unit and ended up I was told that Jiang had appointed two other defense lawyers thus my right to defend for him was invalidated. Even though Jiang really appointed the lawyers himself, I, as the lawyer appointed by his father, have the right as what is clearly written down in the Provisions of the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and Other Departments on Protecting Lawyers' Practicing Rights to meet with Jiang to confirm if this is his genuine choice. Lamentably, both the public security bureau and detention center refused to arrange it.

5.  Abducted Jiang’s Parents and His Sister

  1. On 18th Aug 2017 10h00, four days before the trial, officers of detention centre in Henan, Jiang’s hometown, went to the house of Jiang’s sister’s, attempted to bring away her children and her. Parents of Jiang had been sent to detention centre, with their cell phones being taken away. Officers of the detention centre said they did so as they received order from the above, the State Council.
  2. On 20th Aug 2017 16h00, on-duty officers of the detention centre said Jiang’s parents had left with national security officers and they had lost contact with them.
  3. On 20th Aug 2017 23h00, Jiang’s sister dialed Lawyer Zhang Lei, saying that her parents and public security officers were at her place.
  4. On 21st Aug 2017 21h00, according to what villagers told, Jiang’s parents were forcibly brought away.

“Trial Showcase”

  1. A Pretended Notice of Hearing by the Court

 

On 22nd Aug 2017 08h59, Changsha Intermediate Court uploaded photos onto weibo showing that notice of hearing was published on the electronic announcement board. Issuing date of the notice was shown to be 18th Aug 2017, yet no one has yet seen such notice before. Jiang’s case of subversion of state was not even shown on the case list (http://file.chinacourt.org/f.php?id=15229&class=file). It also attracted doubts as to why the weibo post about Jiang’s case was not posted on 22nd Aug 2017 but 18th Aug 2017 instead.

 

  1. Informing offshore media in advance

 

On 19th Aug 2017, Mingpao received information from the Chinese authorities that the case of a commonly known rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong on alleged subversion of state was scheduled to be heard in Changsha Intermediate Court on 22th Aug 2017.

 

  1. Live Stream of Trial on Official Weibo

 

    1. On 22nd Aug 2017 08h59, Changsha Intermediate Court announced news on weibo – Upcoming live stream – Jiang’s case would be heard at Changsha Court openly. The court announced that the trial of Jiang’s case would take place in Court no.6 at 09h30, and the court would provide a livestream of the whole trial.  
    2. On 2nd Aug 2017 11h26m46, a livestream on weibo showed that while the Court was still at the stage of examination, a statement titled “Case of Jiang Tianyong on Subversion of the State to be Heard Openly” had been uploaded onto the official website of Changsha Intermediate Court, saying verdict would be handed down on another day. (http://cszy.chinacourt.org/article/detail/2017/08/id/2973186.shtml?from=...)
       
  1. State-apponted lawyers to collude with the Court

 

    1. The two state-appointed lawyers were Yang Jielin and Zeng Jie from Hunan Zhenze Law Firm. They had never been in touch with Jiang’s family.
    2. During court’s investigation, defense lawyers did raise questions on Jiang but they acted more like another procurator. For instance, they asked 1) “if all online expressions by Jiang were for publicity stunt on self image”; 2) “if Jiang engaged in the founding of Rights Lawyers Group (“Weiquan Lawyers Group”)”; 3) which family they had approached for the current case.
    3. During court debate, expressions and behaviors of Jiang did not constitute as subversion of the state, defense lawyers should presume Jiang to be innocent before ruling was made.

 

  1. A Close-Up on Jiang’s Father Who Attended the Hearing

On 22nd Aug 2017 11h23, Changsha Intermediate Court uploaded a close-up photo of Jiang’s father attending the hearing. Indeed, Jiang’s father was forcibly brought away by police officers, deprived of personal freedom and lost contact with his family. Such move was to make Jiang’s father more “cooperative” during the trial hearing that day and to force Jiang to plead guilty.

6. Jiang “Pleaded Guilty” and “Felt Thankful”

  1. During court examination, procurators presented 35 sets of materials hand-written by Jiang, and pointed out that Jiang had admitted all of his wrongdoings.
  2. When Jiang made his closing speech, he expressed that since he was arrested, the prosecution organ had been strictly following laws while investigating the case and that they fully protected the rights he was entitled to. He also felt care and human touch from them. Jiang expressed that he deeply understood the severity of the case and detriments to the state and society. He truly regretted for what he had done and was willing to accept any penalty that the law imposes. Lastly he expressed thanks to the investigators and custodial officers.
  3. Nonetheless, given that he was detained for 9 months, was isolated from the outside world and that his parents were under constant harassment by the authority, Jiang’s pleading guilty unwillingly and insincerely was not incomprehensible.

9 Months before the Trial

  1. Barred from Meeting with Lawyers
     
    1. On 27th December 2016, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue went to sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau and demanded to meet with Jiang. After a roughly 1.5-hour negotiation with bureau officers, they received only the request document and firmly refused to present the receipt. They orally promised to give a written reply within statutory time limit as to whether the meeting was allowed. They said, the actual investigatory unit behind was Changsha National Security Organ and that they were following up on the case in the name of Changsha Public Security Sub-bureau. Chen insisted it should be the sub-bureau to be responsible for the matter as they issued the notice of arrest. Later when Chen approached the National Security Sub-Team, they referred the case back to sub-buraeu.
    2. On 29th December 2016, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue received the notice of decision that he was not allowed to meet with the Jiang. The sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau claimed that Jiang was suspected of subversion of the state which belongs to cases involving potential harm to national security, any meetings arranged could hinder investigation and lead to leakage of national secrets, thus disallowing lawyer’s meeting request.
    3. On 17th Jan 2017, defense lawyer Qin Chenshou and Jiang’s father went to Changsha Public Security Bureau to submit application for meeting with Jiang, requesting to see Jiang and to be informed the location where Jiang was put under surveillance, names of investigatory officers and their positions, etc.
    4. On 22nd Jan 2017, defense lawyer Qin Chenshou received the notice of decision of not allowing to meet with suspect – since Jiang was suspected of subversion of the state which belongs to cases involving potential harm to national security, any meetings arranged could hinder investigation and lead to leakage of national secrets, thus disallowing lawyer’s meeting request.
    5. On 4th Feb 2017, in order to prevent Jiang from receiving torture as what Xie Yang experienced, defense lawyer Qin Chenshou and Chen Jinxue submitted “Request and Application for Meet-up, Complaint and Avoidance ”, demanding the officer to immediately arrange lawyers to meet with Jiang.
    6. On 23rd Feb 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue went to the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau (inside Changsha Public Security Bureau) to request to meet with Jiang, security guard asked him to contact investigatory officer. Chen then called Hu Zhenyu (phone number: 0730-82587757, police number: 013613) whom he then said on the phone that such request was already not approved last time and asked Chen to stop applying for a meet-up, as it would definitely not be allowed. After several rounds of negotiation, Chen still failed to enter the bureau and he eventually left his request form on the security counter.
    7. On 2nd March 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue filed a request to meet with Jiang to the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau. He opined that on 1st and 2nd March 2017, a couple of media including Global Times, Phoenix TV claimed they had interviewed Jiang and reported on that, he reasonably believed that, the reason of “hindering investigation or may lead to leakage of national secrets” might not stand, thus investigatory unit might approve the meet-up.
    8. On 3rd March 2017, Hu Zhenyu from the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau dialed and informed Chen Jinxue. Concerning his application to meet with Jiang, the final decision was still a no with the same old reason.
    9. On 31st March 2017, defense lawyer Qin Chenshou went to office no. 632 of the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau to submit application for a meet-up, copy of lawyer’s license, identity card and authorization letter, he requested officer to pass Jiang two jars of blood pressure pills. Officers took the application form but refused to get the pills, saying that investigatory officers would take care of Jiang’s daily lives and health. In case Jiang had health issues, medicine would be provided and detainee could not receive medicine from the outside. Chen then left.
    10. On 1st April 2017, defense lawyer Qin Chenshou received the notice of decision of not allowing to meet with suspect from the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau – since Jiang was suspected of subversion of the state, which belongs to cases involving potential harm to national security, any meetings arranged could hinder investigation and lead to leakage of national secrets, thus disallowing lawyer’s meeting request.
    11. On 14th May 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue filed his 4th request to meet with Jiang to the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau.
    12. On 18th May 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxie received the notice of decision of not allowing to meet with suspect from the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau – since Jiang was suspected of subversion of state, which belongs to cases involving potential harm to national security, any meetings arranged could hinder investigation and lead to leakage of national secrets, thus disallowing lawyer’s meeting request.
    13. On 19th May 2017 (Jiang’s birthday), defense lawyer Chen Jinxue and Qin Chenshou went to the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau to look for Hu Zhenyu to request to meet with Jiang, asked for case briefs and updates on case progress. Hu replied that the meet-up was not approved, claimed that case briefs had been sent out and he knew nothing about it. Till that day, case was not transferred to the Procuratorate for permission to arrest.
    14. On 6th June 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue raised his 5th request to meet with Jiang to the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau.
    15. On 15th June 2017, defense lawyer Chen Jinxue and Zhang Lei went to Changsha the 1st detention center and demanded to meet with Jiang. Officer of the detention center replied to Chen and Zhang that Jiang had appointed two lawyers (ask investigatory unit for their names). Therefore, they could not confirm their identities as a defense lawyer for Jiang. They should also acquire prior approval to meet with Jiang.
    16. On 16th June 2017, defense lawyer Zhang Lei requested the sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau to arrange the meet-up with Jiang according to what’s guaranteed in article 8 of the Provisions of the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and Other Departments on Legally Protecting Lawyers' Practicing Rights.
    17. On 17th July 2017, defense lawyer Zhang Lei went to Changsha the 1st detention center and demanded to meet with Jiang. Officer of the detention center told Zhang that it required approval from the investigatory unit to meet with Jiang; Zhang then contacted officer Hu Zhenyu of sub-bureau directly under Changsha Public Security Bureau while Hu said Jiang had already appointed two lawyers himself thus the two lawyers appointed by Jiang’s father would lose their right to defend for Jiang. When Zhang further requested to see Jiang to confirm his decision, Hu refused and ended the call. According to meeting registration record (visitors were required to register before seeing detainees), Zhang discovered that apart from Chen Jinxue and him who registered on 15th June 2017, the record showed that no one else had registered to meet with Jiang.
    18. On 26th July 2017, Jiang’s sister would like to deposit money for Jiang in Changsha the 1st detention center. Officer there registered on the registration book and issued a receipt without any dates stated on it. She asked why lawyers were not allowed to see Jiang and they told her to ask the investigatory unit. Jiang’s sister went to Changsha Public Security Bureau and kept yelling the name of Jiang at the door, security guard did not allow her to get in. She also tried to call Hu Zhenyu yet no one picked the call. Hu Zhenyu, what were you so afraid of?

2. Torture

  1. On 11th May 2017, Jin Bianling announced the news publicly – according to internal source from those who works for the government and still retain conscience, Jiang was tortured and given ill treatment which injured his leg. He got a swollen leg and could not stand.

3. Discredited by State Media

    1. On 16th December 2016, Legal daily, Prosecution Daily, Nanfang Metropolis Daily and The Paper published news of “New Updates on Jiang’s case – suspected of committing crime, thus was imposed of compulsory criminal measures”. In the news report, journalists got updates from the public security organ that Jiang, who “went missing” and attracted huge attention, was imposed of compulsory criminal measures as he forged the ID document proof, allegedly kept hold of national confidential documents and provided offshore illegal organizations with national secrets.
    2. On 20th December 2016 11h59, Central Committee of the Communist Youth League used HUAWEI Mate 8 cell phone to post a Weibo video, which was an alleged infringement, titled “Report Offshore Powers, Jiang was Caught by Us! #To be Vigilant on Color Revolution#
    3. On 7th March 2017, Central Committee of the Communist Youth League published a four-minute-45-second long video on its official weibo – “# I might have watched false torture# Can One Trust China Authority’s Move on Refuting Rumours? Truth of the Hotted Topic of the Case of Xie Yang on being Tortured Looks Like This?” Til 8th March 16 16h00, it received a total of 1744 tweets, 1030 comments and 2017 likes.

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