Support Jiang Tianyong
Defense of several Human Rights defenders, lawyer for Falun Gong practitioners, which is a practice forbidden in China, fight against corruption.
Jian Tianyong is a 45 years old Human Rights attorney located in Beijing. He has made a name for himself in defending numerous human rights defenders for their activities in favor of civil liberties. He has been the advocate of Falun Gong practitioners, a forbidden religion in China, and citizens engaged in the fight against corruption. He has also been the lawyer of Gao Zhisheng and Chen Guangcheng, two prominent imprisoned rights advocates.
His engagement earned him the revocation of his lawyer’s license by the Chinese authorities in 2009, which never stopped him from pursuing his activities as a rights defender. [...]
Jiang Tianyong was last seen in Changsha City, Hunan Province, while visiting the wife and lawyers of another Chinese human rights attorney, Xie Yang, detained by the authorities. Jiang Tianyong’s wife said she had spoken with him for the last time while he was about to take a train back to Beijing.
Jiang Tianyong had previously been arrested several times, including in March 2014, when he was investigating with a group of lawyers about an unofficial place of detention in Jiansanjiang, Heilongjiang, where Falun Gong practitioners were allegedly detained. The torture suffered during this detention earned him fractures on eight ribs. A few years earlier, in May 2012, he was also arrested and detained while on his way to a meeting with his client Chen Guangcheng at Chaoyang Hospital in Haidian District, Beijing. His detention lasted only 9 hours, but during which he was so severely beaten that his left eardrum was pierced and he temporarily lost hearing on his right ear.
On December 23, after more than a month of silence, the authorities finally confirmed, by an official notification; to Jiang Tianyong’s family, that he had been held in “house arrest in a designated area” since December 1, 2016. This notification issued by the Public Security Bureau of Changsha (Hunan Province) indicates that Jiang is suspected of the crime of “inciting subversion of state power”.
Jiang’s situation highlights the effects of the latest legislative revisions including the inclusion of the possible use of “house arrest in a designated area” in the Criminal Procedure Code of the People’s Republic of China (link), among the 5 coercive measures that may be taken by police against a suspect to limit his freedom of movement and facilitate investigation.
Since the 2012 revision, article 73 of the PRC’s Criminal Procedure Code provides that the placement in “house arrest in a designated area” can be carried out by the police, under the authority of the People’s Procuratorate, for any suspect accused of crime relating to national security, crime of terrorism or corruption. This measure can extend up to 6 months of house arrest.
Article 73 provides, however, that the execution of the measure shall be notified to the family of the person placed under house arrest within 24 hours. Jiang’s case therefore once again highlights the gap between the texts in force and their actual application since his family was informed of his situation 22 days after his placement under house arrest.
Although access to a lawyer is supposed to be protected by Article 33 of the Chinese CPC, this right is however limited as regarding persons suspected of crimes against national security for whom additional authorization must be provided by the person in charge of the ongoing investigations (Article 37).
Numerous testimonies from human rights defenders who are victims of this procedure also mention the frequent use of torture and inhuman treatment on persons placed under house arrest.
Chinese lawyers and several relatives of human rights lawyers who have been victims of the summer 2015 crackdown have published a forum calling on the Chinese authorities to shed light on Jiang Tianyong’s situation and release him immediately if he should prove to be in the hands of the authorities (Link and https://www.facebook.com/chrlcg/?fref=nf)
Amnesty International also published an Urgent Action in support: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/sites/default/files/ua27216.pdf
Lawyers for lawyers has also written an open letter to the Chinese authorities: http://www.advocatenvooradvocaten.nl/12038/china-disappearance-of-lawyer-jiang-tianyong/
The International Observatory for Lawyers has published two press releases about him and has asked the Chinese authorities in charge of his case to guarantee Jiang access to his lawyers and real protection against any act of torture or inhuman treatment.
The Observatory also denounced the arbitrary use of the house arrest measure provided for in Article 73 of the Chinese CPC.