Xie Yang (谢阳)

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Xie Yang (谢阳)

Xie Yang 谢阳

xie yang

Crime: Inciting subversion of state power & disrupting court order

Length of Punishment: N/A

Court: N/A

Trial Date: N/A

Sentencing Date: N/A

Dates of Detention/Arrest: July 11, 2015 (detained); January 9, 2016 (arrested)

Place of Incarceration: Changsha City Public Security No. 2 Detention Center

Indictment: Hunan Province, Changsha City People’s Procuratorate Indictment (text version) (Chinese)

Background Information

Changsha police detained Hunan lawyer Xie Yang in the “709 Crackdown” on human rights lawyers and activists in July 2015. Police took Xie from his hotel in Huaihua City, Hunan Province along with his assistant, Wei Deifeng (魏得丰), who was released after 24 hours. Xie was put under “residential surveillance at a police-designated location” for six months, during which police refused Xie all access to his lawyer and did not notify his family of his location. In January 2016, officials formally arrested Xie on suspicion of “inciting subversion.” According to a statement released by his wife on August 12, 2016, Xie’s case was transferred for review to a Changsha procuratorate, which days later sent the case back to police for further investigation.

For months, Changsha authorities refused to allow Xie’s lawyers, Zhang Chongshi (张重实) and Lin Qilei (蔺其磊), a meeting with their client, on the grounds that he is being investigated for a crime in the category of “endangering national security” and that the lawyers could hinder the investigation or leak state secrets (Article 37 of Criminal Procedure Law). In August 2016, Xie’s family released information stating that authorities granted one meeting between Xie and his lawyers in late July in an attempt to have the lawyers convince Xie to confess. Xie told his lawyers that he had been tortured in August 2015 while in “residential surveillance” and also in July 2016 in the detention center, when police tried to coerce him into confessing. In August, police hanged Xie from the ceiling and repeatedly beat him. Xie lost consciousness at one point and was taken to the hospital. In detention, he is being held with inmates charged with crimes eligible for the death penalty. Xie told his lawyers that the inmates have been instructed to monitor him in his cell, and have beaten him with shackles. No investigation appears to have been conducted into the allegations, and officials have since refused to allow his lawyers to meet him. In early January 2017, Xie provided extensive details of alleged torture to his lawyers during several meetings.

His wife released information in December 2016 that Xie’s lawyer Zhang Chongshi had been granted a brief meeting on November 21, 2016. Zhang had heards sounds of Xie Yang being beaten by a guard, and saw signs of injuries on Xie’s head. Prominent lawyer and activist Jiang Tianyong (江天勇) had met with Xie’s wife and his lawyers Zhang and Lin on November 21, 2016, and went missing afterwards. On December 16, Changsha People’s Procuratorate indicted Xie on charges of “inciting subversion of state power” and “disrupting court order” and his case had been transferred to Changsha Intermediate People’s Court.

In April 2016, authorities placed a travel ban on Xie’s wife, Dr. Chen Guiqiu (陈桂秋), a professor of chemical engineering at Hunan University, claiming that it would “endanger national security” if she left the country. The ban on Chen appears to be due to the fact that she has publicly supported her husband’s innocence. Dr. Chen attempted to sue to have the ban lifted, but the Shenzhen City Intermediate People’s Court refused to accept the suit.

Xie Yang, born on February 4, 1972, has been a lawyer with Hunan Gangwei Law Firm and has represented many politically sensitive cases. Some of Xie’s previous clients include activist Xue Mingkai (薛明凯), arrested in 2011 during the “Jasmine Crackdown”; New Citizens’ Movement activist Zhang Baocheng (张宝成), who was imprisoned in 2014; and “Southern Street Movement” activist Xie Wenfei (谢文飞), seized during the 2014 clampdown on mainland supporters of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests. In early 2014, Xie Yang criticized the violent assaults against four human rights lawyers in retaliation for defending their clients; perhaps to avoid official rebuke over Xie’s stance, his law firm issued a statement at that time denying it was employing Xie. More recently, Xie represented the family of a petitioner shot to death by police in Qing’an, Heilongjiang in May 2015, in one of the “politically sensitive” cases authorities cited as a “subversive” activity conducted by the lawyers in the “709 Crackdown.” Days after he traveled to Qing’an, Xie was himself a victim in an incident of violence in Guangxi while handling a case involving a financial dispute between two companies.

Further Information

China: Investigate Torture Allegations of Detained Lawyer Xie Yang, Hold Torturers Accountable, January 24, 2017, CHRD

News of Chinese lawyer’s beatings in prison ‘only tip of the iceberg,’ wife told, December 2, 2016, Hong Kong Free Press

China: Free Rights Lawyers, Respect Rule of Law, July 7, 2016, CHRD (中文)

Politically Charged Arrests in China Escalate Persecution of Rights Lawyers, January 14, 2016, CHRD

[CHRB] What Happened to the Detained Lawyers: 18 Held in Secret & Several Accused of “Endangering National Security” (8/12-20/2015), CHRD

End Violence Against Human Rights Lawyers, CHRD

Individuals Affected by July 10 Crackdown on Rights Lawyers, July 16, 2015, CHRD

China: Halt Police Operations Targeting Human Rights Lawyers as “National Security” Threat, July 13, 2015, CHRD

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