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China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group Condemns the Central Government For Breaking Its Promise By Allowing the Yinan Government To Deny Chen Kegui’s Rights To Defense and Endanger His Personal Safety

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group Condemns
the Central Government For Breaking Its Promise
By Allowing the Yinan Government To Deny Chen Kegui’s Rights To Defense and Endanger His Personal Safety

 

Chen Guangcheng has informed China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group (CHRLCG) that his nephew, Chen Kegui, has been appointed two lawyers by the local legal aid centre without his consent. Chen Kegui was arrested for intentional homicide after defending himself against approximately twenty people who illegally broke into his house, including Zhang Jian, the head of Shuanghou Town. After meeting with Chen Kequi the government-appointed lawyers told his father that he might be subject to torture while in detention.

Despite being already wounded, he has not received appropriate medical treatment. CHRLCG fears that the Yinan County Public Security Bureau is preventing Chen Kegui from exercising his right to choose his own defense attorney and is endangering his personal safety. CHRLCG also condemns the Central Government for breaking its promises, by allowing the Linyi government to continue these illegal actions that abuse human rights.

The Yinan County Public Security Bureau claimed that Chen Kegui requested lawyers from the local legal-aid centre. The government-appointed lawyers are Wang Haijun from Yinan Yang Du Law Firm and Song Kuiyuan from Yinan Tong Li Law Firm. They come from the same law firms of the lawyers forcibly appointed by government to represent Chen Guangcheng when he was arrested in 2006. According to Chen Guangcheng, the person-in-charge of Yinan Legal Aid Centre told Chen Kegui’s father that ‘our leaders asked us to arrange lawyers for [Chen Kegui’s] case’. However, she has not yet provided any documentary evidence to show that Chen Kegui made such a request.
Since his arrest, Chen Kegui has not been allowed to meet with his family. Requests made by family-appointed lawyers to meet with Chen have been denied. According to Article 33 of the Criminal Procedure Law, a criminal suspect or a defendant may entrust one or two people as his defenders, including lawyers, guardians, relatives and friends of the criminal suspect or the defendant. By not allowing Chen Kegui to use the defenders he has chosen, the Yinan government is actin in violation of Article 14 of the Criminal Procedure Law which states: ”[t]he People’s Courts, the People’s Procuratorates and the public security organs shall safeguard the procedural rights to which participants in proceedings are entitled according to law.” Without access to the lawyers his family has appointed, Chen Kengui cannot exercises the procedural rights that he is entitled to including the right to meet with his lawyer, examine the testimony and choose the way in which he will be defended.

Despite the fact that they are suspected of breaking in to Chen Kegui’s residence and intentionally wounding him, Zhang Jian, the head of the Shuanghou Town, and officials in the Yinan County Public Security Bureau charged Chen Kegui with intentional homicide and forced him to take the lawyers they appointed. This puts the Yinan Public Secuirty Bureau on both sides of the case: as a suspect and as the prosecution. This serious conflict of interest precludes any possibility of an independent and impartial trial for Chen Kegui.

After inquiring into the matter, Chen Kegui’s father was informed by Wang Haijun and Song Kuiyuan that Chen Kegui’s wounds had yet to be examined by doctors. This means that Chen Kegui has not received any medical treatment for the wounds he suffered while defending himself against government officials trespassing on his property. In addition to this, he may also be subjected to torture while in detention.

CHRLCG strongly condemns the authorities for flagrantly violating both human and civil rights, and does not feel that Chen Kegui will be tried fairly in Linyi City. The Central government has promised to investigate the illegal acts of the Linyi government. After the departure of Chen Guangcheng, however, the Central Government has not lived up to its promise. On the contrary, it continues to tolerate the illegal acts of Linyi Government, allowing it to deny Chen Kegui’s rights of defense and to endanger his personal safety. Therefore, CHRLCG demands that:

1. The Linyi Government immediately stop all abusive acts that endanger Chen Kegui’s personal safety and provide him access to medical care.
2. The Linyi Government, in accordance to the relevant legal provisions, protect the right of defense of Chen Kegui and his family, and to immediately arrange a meeting for Chen Kegui and his entrusted lawyers Ding Xikui and Si Weijiang.
3. The Supreme People’s Court take into consideration the serious conflict of interest between Chen Guangcheng and the government in Shandong due to the forced abortion cases, and to transfer Chen Kegui’s case to a court outside of Shandong in accordance with Article 26 of the Criminal Procedure Law which states that: “A People’s Court at a higher level may instruct a People’s Court at a lower level to try a case over which jurisdiction is unclear and may also instruct a People’s Court at a lower level to transfer the case to another People’s Court for trial.”
4. The Central Government honour its promises by conducting a thorough investigation into the illegal acts of the Linyi government and prosecute those whom the investigation finds are responsible.

China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group
20th June, 2012

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