Police Roughly Handle and Take Away Human Rights Lawyer Jiang Tianyong

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Police Roughly Handle and Take Away Human Rights Lawyer Jiang Tianyong

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, November 19, 2009) – At 7:40am this morning, Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), a Beijing-based human rights lawyer, was roughly handled and mistreated by the policemen and security guards guarding him during US President Obama’s visit. Following the incident, Jiang was taken away to Yangfangdian Police Station, Haidian District, where he remains at the time of writing.

Jiang was going to take his daughter to school this morning when he was stopped by four policemen and guards at the gate of the residential area where his family lives. One of the guards grabbed Jiang’s arm and would not let him go. Jiang’s wife rushed out of their apartment and tried to intervene, but she was pushed onto the ground by policeman Wang Tao (王涛), who seized her mobile phone. When Jiang tried to stop the policemen from harassing his wife, the four descended on him, restraining him, twisting his arm and pushing and shoving him with great force.

Jiang’s wife later called the emergency service and local policemen and National Security policemen from Haidian District Public Security Bureau (PSB) arrived at the scene. These policemen took Jiang away to Yangfangdian Police Station.

Jiang had recently returned to Beijing, having arrived home on November 16 from Washington, DC. While in the United States, Jiang testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the US Congress and attended other public events, including receiving an award on behalf of the signatories of Charter 08 from the Chinese Democracy Education Foundation in San Francisco. It is believed that Jiang’s mistreatment is related to his public criticism of the Chinese government’s human rights record in the US.

Jiang began practicing law in 2004, and has defended many individuals prosecuted for exercising human rights, including Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚), a grassroots human rights defender from Shandong Province; Zhang Shufeng (张淑凤), a petitioner sent to Re-education through Labor for lodging complaints against officials; and many others. Jiang was one of the 21 lawyers who offered legal aid to arrested Tibetans following the protests in the Tibetan areas of China in May 2008. Jiang also participated actively in pressing for direct elections of the leadership of the government-controlled Beijing Lawyers Association in the second half of 2008. For his work defending human rights and for his involvement in other “sensitive” activities such as those listed above, Jiang was debarred this year. Together with about twenty other vocal lawyers, Jiang’s license to practice law was not renewed by the judicial authorities when the annual evaluation of his performance concluded on May 31, 2009.

Media Contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin), +852 8191 6937 or +1 301 547 9286

Jiang Yingying, Researcher (English and Mandarin), +852 8170 0237

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Reining in Civil Society: The Chinese government’s use of laws and regulations to persecute freedom of association : https://www.nchrd.org/Article/Class9/Class11/200908/20090810214902_16733.html

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