Chinese Christian Lawyer Tortured In Prison?
By M. Grace, January 03, 2017 16:01 PM
Reports claim that a missing Christian human rights lawyer in China may have been tortured. With this news, campaigners called for his release.
Jiang Tianyong, 45, went missing on November 21 after visiting the wife of an imprisoned lawyer, persecution charity Release International reports.
The human rights lawyer was reportedly first held in so-called "balck jail" wherein it is an unregistered detention center with no legal status. It was also known that torture is common in the place and inmates are refused physical, verbal or written communication with their family or even legal representatives.
According to state media, he is accused of being "in possession of documents containing state secrets" and "illegally handed over state secrets abroad". Chinese authorities claimed that Jiang have been released but his family did not know where he is.
China's Legal Daily said Jiang had "confessed to the crimes". But the UN said his disappearance could be linked to a meeting he had with UN officials in August and warned that he may be at risk of torture, one report noted.
Release is therefore calling on China to declare where Jiang is being held, and to give reassurance that he is not being tortured.
"Release calls on China to disclose where Jiang is being held, to allow him legal representation and to assure the international community that he is not being tortured into making a false confession," said Paul Robinson, chief executive of Release International.
Since July 2015, human rights lawyers and activists have been detained.
"Forced confessions are common, and in the case of Christian lawyers, often extracted under extreme intimidation and torture," said Robinson.
"It's deeply worrying to see a nation such as China rounding up its lawyers, and claiming it is doing so to uphold the rule of law," Robinson said."As a growing world power, China should embrace, rather than oppose, those who stand up for justice and righteousness under the law."
Meanwhile, another lawyer who reportedly disappeared into custody in China is reported to be released.
Zhang Kai, who has worked with Christian pastors protesting China's cross removal programme, was summoned him to his local police station on 27 December, is now back with his parents and northern Inner Mongolia.
His mother told China Aid that security services had been to her and her daughter's homes to have a "conversation". She said at the time: "They urged us to persuade Zhang Kai to keep quiet and cooperate with them. Whether Zhang Kai can go home or not depends on his attitude.
"Our family is in the midst of waiting anxiously. I hope Zhang Kai returns safely. Please pay urgent attention, " she added.
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