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Statement on Torture and Inhuman Treatments against Lawyers in Detention

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group

Statement on Torture and Inhuman Treatments against Lawyers in Detention


 (23 January 2017) The China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) expressed alarm and outrage today over the news that two more lawyers held in the 709 Crackdown have been badly tortured during detention. 

CHRLCG has been alerted by credible source of information that lawyers Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang were tortured in different ways including electric shocks during the 6 months of their detention under residential surveillance at designated location. The electric shocks used have been reported to as strong enough to make the victims pass out. 

As of 23 January 2017, both Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang have been detained for 563 days without meeting their defence lawyers or their family members.  The status of their personal safety and wellbeing has remained unknown.

Lawyer Chen Jianggang released in about 17,000 words in Chinese writing: the transcript of Interviews with lawyer Xie Yang. The transcript has systematically documented the different types of torture lawyer Xie Yang has experienced during his 558 days of detention, including but not limited to: (1) dangling chair, (2) fatigue interrogation, (3) sleep deprivation, (4) intimidation, (5) beating, (6) smoking with cigarettes, (7) deprivation of food and water; (8) deprivation of medical treatment; (9) deprivation of purchasing daily necessities, (10) social isolation.

Similarly, during his meeting with Wu Gan (alias: Butcher, human rights defender, administrative staff of Beijing Fengrui Law Firm) last December, lawyer Yan Xin was informed of the serious torture that Wu Gan had suffered.  Wu Gan recalled, “For a few days and nights during the detention, An Shaodong, policeman at the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, did not allow me to sleep. I was extremely tired and could not open my eyes. An Shaodong forced me to open my eyes to continue with the interrogation.  Not being able to tolerate it, I hit my head against the wall. They drew a line in where I slept, and woke me up once they saw the blanket slipping out of the line. In summer, An Shaodong would also turn the air conditioner to the coldest.”

After 530 days of detention, lawyer Li Chunfu (younger brother of Li Heping) was released on bail, he however was found to be gaunt and paranoiac.  Li revealed that while he did not have any hypertension before he was detained, the doctor in the detention centre made him take medication for it on a daily basis.

Jin Bianling, wife of lawyer Jiang Tianyong is very worried that Jiang too is being tortured. “It is the 62nd day of Jiang Tianyong’s disappearance. But not even we as family member know his whereabouts,” Jin noted. “When I saw how traumatised lawyer Li Chunfu has become, probably due to torture, and how lawyer Xie Yang recounted his experiences being tortured, I feel increasingly worried about the safety of Jiang Tianyong.”


CHRLCG is calling on the Chinese authorities’ immediate arrangements for Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang to meet their lawyers and to receive necessary medical attention to ensure their personal safety and wellbeing.  

CHRLCG also deems it imperative for China to make independent inquiries into the above claims of torture and held the perpetrators legally accountable; to take immediate steps to criminalise torture as defined in the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and to repeal “residential surveillance at designated location” which not only gives leeway the practice of torture but  as it is designed has violated all basic principles of criminal due process, especially when used in combination of article 37 of the Criminal Procedure Law (2012).

For Contact and Enquiry:

1.         K Chan: (Executive Director of CHRLCG): +852 2388 1377 

2.         Wang Qiaoling (Lawyer Li Heping’s wife): +86 131-2136-3110

3.         Li Wenzu (Lawyer Wang Quanzhang’s wife): +86 186-9401-9937 (Tel)/ +86 132-7755-5270 (WhatsApp)

4.         Jin Bianling (Lawyer Jiang Tianyong’s wife): +1 (626) 223-0980