Detained Chinese Rights Lawyer Tortured Again After Complaining About Torture

Chang Weiping is subjected to cruel and degrading treatment by state security police in Shaanxi, an overseas rights group says.

Detained Chinese Rights Lawyer Tortured Again After Complaining About Torture

Detained Chinese rights lawyer Chang Weiping, who is currently under investigation for "subversion of state power" after he attended a December 2019 gathering of dissidents in the southeastern city of Xiamen, has been tortured again, an overseas rights group said.

Chang, who is currently being held under "residential surveillance at a designated location (RSDL)," was forced to sit in a "tiger chair" for six days straight, as well as being subjected to prolonged sleep deprivation and round-the-clock interrogations, the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) network said in a statement on its website.

Authorities in the northern Chinese province of Shaanxi formally arrested Chang on suspicion of "subversion of state power" in May.

Chang had been redetained in October 2020 after he spoke out about being tortured following an earlier detention in connection with a dinner gathering of human rights lawyers, dissidents, and rights activists in the southeastern port city of Xiamen in December 2019.

The charge against him was changed from "incitement to subvert state power," which carries a maximum jail term of 15 years, to the more serious charge of "subversion of state power," which has no upper limit on length of custodial sentence.

He has been held since October with no access to a lawyer until Sept. 14, 2021, when his attorney visited him.

Chang told his lawyer that he had been subjected to the "tiger chair," including one sting of six days and nights, the statement said.

"He was subjected to psychological torment, which he found most difficult to handle. Police frequently lied to him, threatened him, gave him hope and then dashed [it]," it said.

Chang's wife Chen Zijuan confirmed the report.

"They are still putting him in the tiger chair; the longest time was six days and nights," she said. "He had pressure sores on his behind and lost feeling in his fingertips."

"He gets just one mantou per meal, and they're not letting him sleep or go to the bathroom," Chen said. "They won't give him water either."

Five showers in five months

She said Chang is being held in a room roughly nine square meters in size, sharing it with state security police officers (guobao).

Chang was allowed to shower just five times during his time in RSDL, which on Sept. 14 amounted to five months and 16 days, and is under round-the-clock video surveillance, Chen said.

"They haven't cut his toenails or fingernails for the entire time, and they wouldn't let him clean his teeth for the first month he was in there," she said. "He felt it wasn't worth being alive in there."

"They are trying to break him; to torture him into behaving like an obedient dog," she said.

She said Chang has been forced to make more than 40 statements, all of which are an attempt by state security police to force him to "confess" to the charges against him.

"They want him to use their exact wording; they want to dictate every word to him, and then when he has the lines rehearsed, they will film [the confession]," she said. "That's the only way they are going to allow him to eat and sleep properly."

Chen said Chang was in solitary confinement for the first two weeks of RSDL.

"His health has been affected by his time in detention," she said. "He has blood in his stool and chronic malnutrition because of the lack of fruit and vegetables; he has had mouth sores this whole time."

During one interrogation on Sept. 8, Chang was warned to be careful what he said to his lawyer, or "suffer the consequences," according to CHRD's acccount.

Chen told RFA in an interview in July that the authorities had been using complaints to get rid of lawyers hired by his family, in a bid to have him accept government-appointed lawyers instead.

"I have hired four lawyers so far, and all of them have been subject to malicious complaints against them [and quit]," Chen said. "They said they would cancel the lawyers' licenses if they didn't go back to where they came from."

"I didn't want to keep changing lawyers; they were persecuted and prevented from acting in the case," she said.

Chen has also been warned by her employer not to speak out about her husband's case on pain of dismissal.

CHRD research and advocacy coordinator William Nee said the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) -- which bans torture and inhumane treatment on paper -- should have carried out an investigation into Chang's initial allegations, rather than repeating the torture.

"Chang Weiping bravely told the world on Youtube about his experiences being tortured in RSDL," Nee said. "The Chinese government should have conducted an impartial investigation into the grave allegations, but instead, predictably, they again put him in secret detention and tortured him."

"This barbaric act flies in the face of China’s international obligations under the Convention against Torture, and the Chinese government must be held to account," he said.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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Chinese Journalist, Rights Activist Incommunicado, Likely Detained, in Guangzhou

#MeToo activist and journalist Sophia Huang had been due to begin a degree at the University of Sussex after being awarded a Chevening Scholarship.

Chinese Journalist, Rights Activist Incommunicado, Likely Detained, in Guangzhou

Feminist journalist Sophia Huang and fellow activist Wang Jianbing are incommunicado, believed detained, ahead of Huang's planned departure to study overseas, the Chinese rights group Weiquanwang reported on Tuesday.

Huang had planned to leave China via Hong Kong on Sept. 20 for the U.K., where she planned to take a master's degree in development with a prestigious Chevening Scholarship, the Weiquanwang report said.

Wang, who is a labor and healthcare rights activist, had planned to see her off on her journey, it said.

"According to people familiar with the matter, Wang Jianbing may have been detained under investigation for incitement to subvert state power, mainly due to the daily gatherings of friends at his home," Weiquanwang said, adding that both activists had been incommunicado since Sept. 19.

Repeated calls and messages to Huang's cell phone went unanswered on Tuesday.

Sources told RFA the pair had likely been detained by police in their home district of Haizhu.

An officer who answered the phone at the Haizhu district police department in Guangzhou declined to confirm the report.

"Who? I've never heard of those people," the officer said. "If you believe they are being dealt with, then the relatives need to wait for notification."

"The case officers will only contact [the family]."

A person familiar with the case, who gave only the surname Gu, said there was no way to rescue Huang and Wang, who he said were detained alongside two other people, one of whom has since been released.

"The thing that triggered it was a protest video they made for private broadcast," Gu said, but said he hadn't seen the video himself.

Survey of harassment, assaults

Before being targeted by the authorities in 2019, Huang had been an outspoken member of the country's #MeToo movement, and had carried out a survey of sexual harassment and assault cases among Chinese women working in journalism.

Huang was present at a million-strong protest in Hong Kong on June 9, 2019 against plans to allow extradition to mainland China, and was detained for "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble" in October 2019, before being released on bail in January 2020, a status that often involves ongoing surveillance and restrictions on a person's activities.

Her travel documents were also confiscated after her return, preventing her from beginning a law degree in Hong Kong the fall of 2019.

Huang had previously assisted in the investigation and reporting of a number of high-profile sexual harassment allegations against professors at Peking University, Wuhan University of Technology, Henan University and Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou.

Wang started to work in rural development after graduating in 2005, before joining the Guangzhou Gongmin NGO in 2014 and director and coordinator for youth work.

In 2018, he started advocacy and legal support work on behalf of workers with occupational diseases, and was a vocal supporter of China's #MeToo movement.

Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

Source : Radio Free Asia More   

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