CHRD Communiqué Alleging Torture of Chinese lawyer Wang Quanzhang – August 26, 2020

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Submission to:

Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances

I. Identity of the person(s) subjected to torture

1. Family Name: Wang (王)

2. First and other names: Quanzhang (全璋)

3. Sex: Male

4. Birth date or age: February 15, 1976

5. Nationality: Chinese

6. Occupation: Human rights lawyer

7. Activities (trade union, political, religious, humanitarian/ solidarity, press, etc.):

Wang Quanzhang is a human rights lawyer formerly with the now-shuttered Fengrui Law Firm in Beijing. He is also the co-founder of the NGO China Urgent Action Working Group. Wang graduated from Shandong University Law School in 2000. Over the course of his legal career, Wang represented a wide array of clients in human rights cases, including Falun Gong practitioners, members of the New Citizens’ Movement, housing rights activist Ni Yulan (倪玉兰), and journalist Qi Chonghuai (齐崇淮). Lawyer Wang also has written or co-authored many pieces on the legal profession and human rights, including a report on the role of lawyers in pro-democracy movements and one about the Internet and civil society movements.

Wang has faced harassment and suffered retaliation for his work: in 2008 officers from the Shandong branch of the Ministry of State Security raided his home; in April 2013, he received a 10-day judicial detention for “speaking loudly during the hearing” but was released after 3 days due to public outcry. The next month, the annual renewal of his lawyers’ license was delayed along with a dozen other lawyers in reprisal for their human rights work. In March 2014, Wang was beaten after demanding the release of detained rights lawyers and he was again assaulted in June 2015 in a Shandong courthouse while defending his client.

8. Residential and/or work address:

Beijing Municipality, People’s Republic of China

II. Circumstances surrounding torture

1. Date and place of arrest and subsequent torture

Mr. Wang was seized by police in Jinan, Shandong Province on the evening of August 3, 2015. He was held in an unknown police-designated location from August 3, 2015 until being formally arrested on January 8, 2016. During this period, he was held under “residential surveillance at a (police-)designated location” (RSDL), a de facto form of enforced disappearance. Wang alleges he was tortured between September and October 2015, while under RSDL, at Jing’an Guest House at the National Security Bureau Detention Center in Tianjin.

On or around January 8, 2016, Wang was believed to have been moved to Tianjin No. 1 Detention Center, where he was held until April 29, 2019. After which he was moved to Linyi Prison, Shandong Province until his release from custody on April 5, 2020. The torture allegations do not pertain to this time period of his detention.

2. Identity of force(s) carrying out the initial detention and/or torture (police, intelligence services, armed forces, paramilitary, prison officials, other)

Officers from the Hexi Branch of Tianjin Municipal Public Security Bureau and Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau

3. Were any person, such as a lawyer, relatives or friends, permitted to see the victim during detention? If so, how long after the arrest?

No. Wang Quanzhang was denied all meetings with his lawyer and relatives until he was transferred to Linyi Prison, Shandong Province on April 29, 2019 after being convicted of “subversion of state power” and sentenced to 4.5-years in prison on January 28, 2019.

4. Describe the methods of torture used

a) Insults, scolding
b) Slapped in the face, poked in the ribs with a pen
c) Face spat on, exposed to low temperature of air-conditioning, cold water poured over his neck

d) Kicked over his body and legs

e) Not given food

f) Not allowed to turn his body over while sleeping for a month

g) Forced to raise both hands for 15 hours per day, from 6am to 9pm every day for one month

5. What injuries were sustained as a result of the torture?

a) Depression, anxiety and very easy to get bad-tempered
b) Intensified joint pain in shoulders

6. What was believed to be the purpose of the torture?

Confession through torture. The torturers forced Wang to repeatedly say what he had told the police during interrogations.

7. Was the victim examined by a doctor at any point during or after his/her ordeal? If so, when? Was the examination performed by a prison or government doctor?

Medical doctors gave Wang a medical examination and gave him medicine but the police officers who conducted the interrogations with Wang prohibited him from using the medicine.

8. Was appropriate treatment received for injuries sustained as a result of the torture?


9. Was the medical examination performed in a manner which would enable the doctor to detect evidence of injuries sustained as a result of the torture? Were any medical reports or certificates issued? If so, what did the reports reveal?

The police officers kicked Wang’s legs but that left no obvious injuries.

10. If the victim died in custody, was an autopsy or forensic examination performed and which were the results?


III. Remedial action

Were any domestic remedies pursued by the victim or his/her family or representatives (complaints with the forces responsible, the judiciary, political organs, etc.)? If so, what was the result?

After his release from prison, Wang filed a complaint to the procuratorate and the supervisory committee requesting the two agencies to conduct investigation about the torture and other ill-treatment Wang experienced in detention. However, Tianjin Municipal No. 2 Procuratorate replied that it fell outside the procuratorate’s jurisdiction.

Wang Quanzhang’s case was previously the subject of WGAD Opinion No. 62/2018 and UA CHN 3/2017 (22 March 2017).

Date of Submission: August 26, 2020

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