China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group condemns Heilongjiang Jiansanjian police for torturing human rights lawyers and illegally detaining citizens

Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian, Zheng Junjie and Wang Cheng were placed under administrative detention by Jiansanjiang Public Security Bureau for making requests to meet their clients who were detained at the Legal Education Base in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang. Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian and Wang Cheng were released on 6th April. The lawyers were subjected to torture during the detention and were severely injured. Upon their release from administrative detention, the lawyers were forced onto planes going back to Beijing and were subjected to close surveillance. Jiang Tianyong was interrogated by state police immediately upon arrival in Beijing, and was then placed under house arrest. China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group condemns the police of the Agricultural Reclamation Branch for obstructing lawyers from carrying out their professional duties, as well as violating the basic human rights of lawyers and citizens. The Concern Group calls for an immediate investigation into the incident, holding relevant personal criminally responsible, as well as an immediate release of the detained citizens.

The three lawyers were subjected to threats and beatings while in the detention centre. Tang Jitian said, ‘they threatened me, saying that they would dig a hole and bury me, harvest my kidney while I was alive, or feed me to a pack of dogs, just like what Kim Jong Un did to his uncle.’ According to other lawyers who travelled to Jiansanjiang to support the three lawyers, police from Jiansanjiang handcuffed the three lawyers with their hands behind them, hanged them up with their feet off the ground, beat Tang’s chest with fists and beat Wang’s left chest, ribs and back with batons. Wang and Tang expressed that they were subjected to continuous beatings while in the detention centre, and were forced to wear black hoods at night. Upon release, they were sent to the airport to take planes back to Beijing. They were subjected to close surveillance. Jiang Tianyong was picked up by the state security at the Beijing Airport and then was placed under house arrest Tang Jitian had to be hospitalized as his medical examination revealed multiple injuries.

Currently, there are a dozen of citizens detained for supporting the lawyers at Qixing Detention Centre in Jiansanjiang. Other human rights defenders are actively seeking lawyers to represent these citizens.

According to a human rights lawyer based in Beijing, the Legal Education Base in Qinglong County, managed by the Agricultural Reclamation Public Security Branch, holds about thirty Falun Gong practitioners. These citizens did not have any trial, yet are being detained Their cases have never entered the legal process. Laws in China do not give Public Security Bureaus any power to coerce citizens to receive legal education in these bases. These legal education bases exist in China without any legal basis. Compulsory legal education classes conducted by the Agricultural Reclamation Public Security Branch in these centres are illegal, and indeed constitute extralegal detention. China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group believes that it is unreasonable for Police from the Agricultural Reclamation Branch to put lawyers,who exercise their professional duties, under administrative detention. What is more infuriating is that the police tortured lawyers and citizens, endangering personal safety of Chinese citizens. According to article 50 of the Chinese Criminal Procedure Law, ‘Judges, prosecutors, and criminal investigators must, under legal procedures, gather various kinds of evidence that can prove the guilt or innocence of a criminal suspect or defendant and the gravity of crime. It shall be strictly prohibited to extort confessions by torture, gather evidence by threat, enticement, deceit, or other illegal means, or force anyone to commit self-incrimination.

The Concern Group calls for:

  1. the Heilongjiang Supreme People's Procuratorate to investigate the case of inquisition by torture in Jiansanjiang and to hold the relevant personnel criminally responsible in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law;
  2. the Higher People's Court of Heilongjiang Province to accept the application for administrative litigation filed by lawyer Zhang Lei and to investigate the unconstitutional and illegal abuse of martial law powers by the Qixing Branch of the Agricultural Reclamation Public Security Bureau in Jiansanjiang;
  3. Jiansanjiang Agricultural Public Security Bureau to immediately release all citizens detained for supporting the three lawyers;
  4. Jiansanjiang Agricultural Public Security Bureau to immediately close down the Legal Education Base of Heilongjiang Agricultural Reclamation Administration;
  5. The Central Government to ban all extralegal detention facilities across China, and;
  6. Law enforcement units across China, in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Law and the Constitution, to respect lawyers’ right to practice and citizens’ right to freedom of assembly and freedom of speech.

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
8th April, 2014

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