“Lawyer reveals detention ordeal”

Jiang Yutang, one of many who were disappeared last spring by the government, is out and writing about what happened to him in the South China Morning Post:

Jiang – recognised as an outstanding democracy activist by a US-based rights group at the weekend – said he was in deep mental stress because of the physical and verbal abuse he was subjected to and was also fearful of what the authorities could do if he broke the pledges that secured his release, which included an agreement not to give media interviews.

Jiang, 40, came to the attention of authorities after representing activists and other sensitive clients like Aids patients and Falun Gong practitioners. He said he was taken away on February 19 and severely beaten for two nights. He was then made to sit motionless for up to 15 hours a day in a room where the curtains were always closed and interrogated repeatedly by national security officers. He said he could never say “I don’t know” or make “mistakes”, or threats and humiliation would follow.

He said his interrogators told him: “Here we can do things in accordance to law. We can also not do things in accordance to law, because we are allowed to not do things in accordance to law.”

The second night he was kicked and punched, he appealed to his interrogator: “I am a human being, you are a human being. Why are you doing something so inhumane?”

Enraged, the man knocked Jiang to the floor and screamed: “You are not a human being!”

Yet Jiang considers himself lucky compared to others, with reports by human rights organisations cataloguing a range of abuse. Lawyer Tang Jitian was subjected to blasts of cold air in detention and was diagnosed with tuberculosis after his release. Guangzhou lawyer Tang Jingling was fed medicine that resulted in temporary memory loss. Artist Ai Weiwei was kept in a room with the light on for 24 hours a day, his sister Gao Ge told The Washington Post. Two guards watched him every moment, even when he was showering or sleeping.

On the other hand, China’s White Paper on Human Rights says that it’s doing a great job, so…


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Filed under enforced disappearance, Jasmine Revolution, torture

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