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Radio Free Asia
2016-12-02

■ A prominent Chinese dissident who died recently in prison wrote a letter warning his family to suspect foul play, should he meet with an "accident," RFA has learned.

Peng Ming died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 58 in Hubei's Xianning Prison, while serving a life sentence for "terrorism."

Peng had been granted refugee status and settled with his family in the United States, but was kidnapped by Chinese agents on the Thai-Myanmar border during a visit to Thailand in 2004 to visit his elderly parents.

An undated photo of the handwritten letter penned by Peng
Ming in 1998, calling on his family to investigate if he 'meets
with an accident.'
Photo courtesy of Peng Ming's family.
Brought back to China, Peng was sentenced on Oct. 12, 2005, to life imprisonment after being found guilty of "organizing and leading a terrorist organization," "kidnapping," and "possessing counterfeit money."

He had founded the banned China Development Union (CDU), an intellectual and environment research group that advocated moderate democratic reform and a more eco-friendly economic model.

In a handwritten letter hastily penned by Peng in 1998 and seen by RFA this week, Peng wrote: "In the event that I lose my liberty or some other unforeseen event happens to me, I ask my mother, father, brother Zhangming, sister Peng Xing, and the others to represent me to the relevant legal channels."

The letter, signed by Peng Ming, goes on: "If some accident happens to me, you can be sure that it was made to look like an accident, that it was a set up."

"I hope that people of good conscience won't be too afraid to speak out publicly against it," he wrote.

Family wants autopsy

Peng's family in the United States issued a statement on his death on Friday, calling for an autopsy to shed light on the cause of his death.

"Twelve years ago, Peng Ming was kidnapped and taken back to China from Myanmar ... where he was sentenced to life imprisonment," they said. "We kept a low profile then, and again when he was tortured."

"The only reason for this low profile was the hope that Peng Ming might one day come home alive," they said

The statement called on the ruling Chinese Communist Party to issue visas for the family to return to China to see Peng Ming one more time, and to carry out an autopsy on his body with an internationally trusted doctor.

It called on the authorities to refrain from cremated Peng's body before the visas had been granted and an autopsy carried out.

Peng's sister Peng Xing said the family is currently in the process of applying for visas via the Chinese authorities in the United States.

"I'm very busy, and I'm in touch with the Chinese authorities at the moment, so as to discuss a few things," she said.

"I am trying to get a visa ... and also to arrange an autopsy, to find out exactly how he died," Peng Xing said.

"All of that is extremely complicated, because they can't keep the body for very long if they're not cremating it, so all of this is being negotiated," she said.

Dealing with authorities

Peng Zhangming, the brother named in the 1998 letter, said he is similarly busy dealing with the authorities.

"I'm at the prosecutor's office and I don't have time to talk right now, sorry," he said. "There are lots of legal arrangements to make."

"I have also begun initial discussions with the prison authorities, and they are going to keep the body for 10 days, because there are relatives overseas who need to get home, so it's a process."

"The prison has set a special guard on the body, including armed police at the gates," he said.

He said he hadn't yet been shown relevant surveillance footage related to Peng's death.

"We are going to wait until the rest of the family come back from overseas and then we'll watch it together," he said.

Anhui-based rights activist and former state prosecutor Shen Liangqing said a high international profile surrounded Peng Ming's death could help the family's case.

"This amount of international pressure may mean that they daren't try anything [related to covering up the cause of death]," Shen said. "It certainly won't do the case any harm."

"But sometimes international pressure hasn't enough where local governments are concerned, and I think that Western politicians are to blame for this," he said.

Born on Oct. 11, 1956 in Hubei, Peng had previously been arrested in January 1999 and accused of visiting prostitutes, a charge that has been used against a number of dissidents in recent years.

He was sentenced without a trial to 18 months in a police-run labor camp for "re-education" after he published his book The Fourth Landmark in Hong Kong in 1998.

In the book, Peng calls for China to find a mode of development suited to its immense population and limited resources rather than to try to surpass Western countries with unrestrained industrialization.

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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Radio Free Asia
2016-11-30

■ A prominent democracy activist who argued during the 1990s for an "ecological" way of life has died while serving jail time in the central Chinese province of Hubei, his family said on Wednesday.

Peng Ming, who to Thailand in 2000 before being detained in neighboring Myanmar as the result of a ruse, was the founder of the banned China Development Union (CDU), an intellectual and environment research group that advocated moderate democratic reform and a more eco-friendly economic model.

He died suddenly on Tuesday at the age of 58 in Hubei's Xianning Prison, his brother told RFA.

Peng Ming is shown in an undated
photo. China18
He said the family had no clues regarding the manner of his death, as his body had already been prepared for burial with cosmetics covering his face.

"We are still in discussions with the prison authorities about this, because his is a rather special situation," Peng Zhangming said.

"Looking at him now, you'd think he was sleeping. They've done a great job of tidying him up and making him look better," he said.

Peng Zhangming said the death certificate gave no details of the cause of death.

"It happened yesterday morning at about 8.00 a.m., when he was watching television," Peng Zhangming said. "He lost consciousness and fell to the floor, and was immediately taken to the prison hospital for emergency treatment."

"When that didn't work, they sent him straight to the best hospital in Xianning, the Central Hospital, but they were unable to revive him," he said.

"The cause of death is listed as sudden death," he said. "He was suddenly taken ill."

"I read the notes from the Xianning Central Hospital, which carried out attempts to resuscitate him, injecting him with adrenaline," Peng Zhangming added.

Calls to the Xianning Prison were answered, then immediately cut off, during office hours on Wednesday.

'Persecution in jail'

Hunan-based rights activist Peng Xiaohua said Peng had been unjustly locked up in the first place.

"Like all Chinese prisoners of conscience, it was unjust to lock him up in prison in the first place," he said. "They suffer a huge amount of persecution while in jail, so it's likely that this caused his death."

"It really breaks your heart."

According to the Christian rights group ChinaAid, Peng suffered from heart disease and other ailments, including kidney stones, for which was denied treatment while in prison.

Peng fled to Thailand after his release from labor camp, and was resettled as a political refugee with his family in 2001, where he continued to campaign for a democratic China.

But on a trip back to Thailand to visit his elderly parents, Peng was tricked into going to Myanmar by Chinese agents, his daughter told RFA at the time.

"He had purchased plane tickets for me and my brother to go and visit him, but he also had another plan in the summer of 2004, which was to go to Thailand to set up a safe haven for political refugees like himself," Lisa Peng said in an interview in 2013.

"But in Thailand, he was lured by eight secret Chinese police to the border of Burma and Thailand where he was kidnapped and sentenced to life," she said.

"Thus, those plane tickets could never be used, and that [time in 2003] was the last time I ever saw my father."

Previous arrest

Peng was sentenced on Oct. 12, 2005 to life imprisonment after being found guilty of "organizing and leading a terrorist organization," "kidnapping," and "possessing counterfeit money."

Born on Oct. 11, 1956 in Hubei, Peng had previously been arrested in January 1999 and accused of visiting prostitutes, a charge that has been used against a number of dissidents in recent years.

He was sentenced without a trial to 18 months in a police-run labor camp for "re-education" after he published his book The Fourth Landmark in Hong Kong in 1998.

In the book, Peng calls for China to find a mode of development suited to its immense population and limited resources rather than to try to surpass Western countries with unrestrained industrialization.

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Hai Nan for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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Radio Free Asia
2016-12-02

A rights activist, one of the Guangzhou Three, recently released from prison in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong, says he is having trouble returning to normal life, detailing ongoing restrictions on his movements and a lack of income. Wang Qingying, who was sentenced on Jan. 29, 2016 by the Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong's provincial capital Guangzhou alongside Tang Jingling and Yuan Xinting, spoke to RFA following his release at the end of his two-and-a-half year sentence, most of which was served in pretrial detention:

RFA: So how have things been for you since you got out of prison?

A: I can only make phone calls, but I can't get online. They have blocked it. I spend the whole time at home, and never go out.

RFA: How are you getting by now?

A: Life is very difficult. We need a place to live, but I worry that the police will visit my employers if I get a job, and so on. We are hoping to avoid this sort of thing happening.

Wang Qingying (R) is shown following his release from
prison. Photo courtesy of Xi Sen
RFA: How do you feel now about having been in prison?

A: Actually I feel very honored to have been in jail, but I don't deserve that much glory. I haven't really achieved very much. A lot of people have achieved a lot, but they didn't go to jail. Those sorts of people are admirable too. It's not right that people should have to sacrifice too much. It's important to be wise in the way we carry out the struggle for democracy. It's not just a question of shouting a few slogans.

RFA: How did your treatment in prison affect you?

A: I did suffer a bit in prison, if truth be told. I was tortured and mistreated. Every time I saw a guard, I would have to squat down beside them. That's how they humiliate you. They stripped me naked when I first got there, in front of all the people, a handful or dozens, it didn't matter. They treat people like animals. We were treated worse than dogs. It violates a person's dignity, and attacks their self-esteem. Of course I protested against it, and so they beat me up so bad it seemed they were going to kill me.

RFA: Did your wife tell you how much support and solidarity was expressed for you internationally?

A: She didn't want to mention it to me, because it was a nightmare, and so we basically don't talk about these things. She had to take care of the family [while I was in jail] and also cope with all sorts of other things like family pressure, pressure from her boss, harassment and intrusions of all kinds. I think we can say that it was a terrifying time for her, and she often had bad dreams at night.

Reported by Xin Lin for RFA's Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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The doors to another church are sealed
after officials barred it from meeting.
(Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song.

(Zhaoqing, Guangdong—Dec. 2, 2016) Two Hong Kong residents who established addiction treatment centers disappeared into police custody in China’s southern Guangdong province last weekend.

On Nov. 26 and 27, officials from the public security and religious affairs bureaus surrounded Gospel Drug Treatment Church, confiscated its computer and religious materials, banned it from holding religious services and dispersed Christians gathered there. Around the same time, the church’s leaders, Lin Haixin and his wife, who are originally from Hong Kong, were detained, with their current situation unknown. However, some Christians speculate that they were taken away for holding so-called “illegal religious activities” without registering.

For two consecutive days, church members attempted to contact the couple, who both hold Hong Kong residency, but could not reach them.

The church specializes in helping people with addictions, mental health problems, gambling habits, alcoholism, etc., free of charge via the use of Christian rehabilitation centers in Zhaoqing, Guangdong, and Lijiang, Yunnan. Many of its members were former patients who reported vast improvements after their treatment. In the three years since its establishment, it has served more than 180 people.

In June 2015, the religious affairs bureau issued an administrative penalty notice that accused Lin of using the guise of a pastor to conduct religious activities and warned the church to stop holding these events. On the same day, Lin wrote a defense to the religious affairs bureau, reiterating that he is just someone who came from Hong Kong to help those suffering from addictions and psychological disorders. Nevertheless, authorities detained him a year later.

China Aid reports on abuses, such as those experienced by the members of Gospel Drug Addiction Treatment Church, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom in China.


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Premier
By Alex Williams
Thu 01 Dec 2016

■ A letter written by a Christian lawyer jailed after he represented dozens of churches faced with having their crosses taken away in China, has been made public.

Zhang Kai, who was released in March this year, has expressed his gratitude in the note for those who supported him during six months he spent behind bars.

In the note (pictured below), penned last Thursday, the prominent human rights lawyer wrote: "Thanks to those comforted and cared for my parents when I was in trouble, last year.

"...I thank the friends, lawyers and the strangers who appealed for me and supported me.

"Thanks to all the Christians at home and overseas, who are praying for me all of the time."

Zhang Kai was detained - along with his two legal assistants - in August 2015 after providing legal representation for around 100 churches targeting in a campaign by officials to demolish crosses on church buildings in Zhejiang province.

He was accused of 'endangering national security' and 'gathering crowds to disturb the social order', allegations China Aid claims he has later pressured into confessing during a television appearance.

China Aid, an organisation which supports persecuted Christian and promotes religious freedom in China, claims Zhang was held "incommunicado in an unofficial 'black jail'".

In his letter, which coincided with the US holiday of Thanksgiving, Zhang Kai said: "The history of Thanksgiving is a history of escaping from oppression, seeking freedom and thanking God.

"On this special day, even though I often feel desperate and devastated, I deeply know in my heart that God always encourages and supports me with His irresistible love, and my gratitude is always beyond words.

"Thanks to the scholars, lawyers, citizens, [etc.], who are devoted to bringing rule of law, human rights and freedom to China. It is you who fill the ridiculous world with love and warmth."


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Radio Free Asia
2016-12-01

■ Concerns are mounting over the continued detention of three prominent Chinese rights defenders all detained or "disappeared" last month, rights group said.

Prominent Beijing rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, Sichuan-based Tianwang website founder Huang Qi and Hubei-based rights activist Liu Feiyue have all been incommunicado since mid-November, amid growing calls for official confirmation of their status.

Detained Chinese rights lawyer Xie Yang, in undated photo.
Photo courtesy of an RFA listener.
"Police are believed to be holding the men in unknown locations, raising fears that they are at risk of torture," the overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) said in a statement on its website.

"The detention and disappearance in quick succession of these well-known leading figures of China’s rights defense movement further signal the escalation of President Xi Jinping’s relentless crackdown on civil society," it said.

According to a statement from Jiang's family posted on the Human Rights in China website: "The family cannot accept the fact that Jiang is being administratively detained—or criminally investigated—merely because of his visit with a fellow lawyer’s family in Changsha or for trying to help them find out more about that lawyer’s detention."

Attempts by Jiang's family to hire him a lawyer have resulted in foot-dragging by the authorities, with repeated requests that the lawyers "prove" their relationship to the family, and the relationships within Jiang's family, they told RFA.

Jiang's wife Jin Bianling said the family had hired Chen Jinxue and Song Yu to represent him, but that their attempts to "prove" their connection to Jiang weren't enough, according to officers at the Xizhan police station.

She said the police also claimed to have no record of her husband's whereabouts.

"The police at the Xizhan police station said they haven't been able to find any information [on their system] relating to Jiang Tianyong," Jin said.

"They said that we should get in touch with the Nanzhan police station in Changsha for proof that Jiang Tianyong didn't board the train."

More than 60 lawyers have issued a statement calling on the authorities to investigate Jiang's "disappearance" after he failed to make the D940 express train from Shandong back to Beijing on Nov. 21.

'Passing the buck'

Jiang had been visiting the family of detained rights lawyer Xie Yang, in Changsha, at the time of his "disappearance."

Chen Jinxue told RFA that there is no record of Jiang's having boarded the train, however.

"I think they are just passing the buck," Chen said. "The Xizhan police station have accepted our missing persons report, and now they're trying to back-track on it."

"They could get the necessary evidence from Changsha themselves."

Xie's wife Chen Guiqiu said on Thursday that her husband had been beaten up by guards in the police-run Changsha No. 2 Detention Center ahead of a recent visit from a different lawyer.

"His defense attorney finally managed to meet with Xie Yang, who was cruelly beaten up by guards inside the detention center before their meeting," she said. "While lawyer Zhang Zhongshi was waiting to see Xie, he heard cries of pain and screams drifting in from the corridor outside."

"It went on for five or six minutes in total," she said.

Zhang confirmed her account in a separate interview.

"He wanted to bring a document into the meeting to give to his lawyer, and the police wouldn't let him," he said. "I have spoken to the detention center director and to the prosecutor's office about the the police beating him up, and demanded an investigation."

Meanwhile, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, rights activists said Huang Qi's elderly mother is now incommunicado following the detention of her son.

"It is now 40 hours since Huang's mother was taken away by Neijiang police to an unknown location," activist Wu Suyun told RFA.

No due process

Huang was detained and his home raided by police officers from the provincial capital Chengdu and the earthquake-hit regions of Neijiang and Mianyang on Monday evening.

Huang, 51, was sentenced to three years in prison in November 2011 after launching an investigation into shoddy school construction blamed for thousands of deaths during a massive 2008 earthquake.

Petitioner Zhou Jun said activists had realized Huang's 83-year-old mother Pu Wenqing was also missing after trying to visit her in hospital.

"We went to the hospital to try to find her this morning, but we weren't able to find her," Zhou said.

She said fellow activists have since been trying to find a lawyer to represent Huang and his mother, and had contacted rights lawyer Ran Tong to that end.

But Ran told RFA on Thursday that his involvement would likely be counterproductive.

"There are two pre-conditions for lawyers' involvement in such cases: one is that the authorities in charge of the case issue a letter to the lawyer, indicating what stage Huang Qi is at in the legal process," Ran said.

"The other is that the lawyer must receive instructions from the relatives, but neither of these documents exists," he said. "I want to help, but in this situation I'm powerless to do so."

He said Huang's treatment resembles that meted out to dozens of rights lawyers since a nationwide crackdown on the legal profession began on July 9, 2015.

"It's very similar to the July 9 incident, where they just throw due process out of the window," Ran said.

Meanwhile, citizen journalist Liu Feiyue is reportedly under criminal detention on suspicion of “subversion of state power” after police in Hubei took him into custody on Nov. 17.

Reported by Qiao Long and Yang Fan for RFA's Mandarin Service, and Wong Lok-to for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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The New York Times
By Michael Forsythe
Nov. 30, 2016

■ Hong Kong — Three prominent Chinese rights activists appear to have been detained in recent weeks by the police, part of a continuing crackdown on groups operating outside the umbrella of the state, advocacy groups say.

The three men, Jiang Tianyong, Huang Qi and Liu Feiyue, all disappeared within days of each other in November, each in a different province. The police have charged only Mr. Liu with an offense. Rights groups say he was detained on Nov. 17 or 18 in the central province of Hubei on suspicion of subverting state power, which can carry a sentence of life in prison.

Mr. Jiang, a disbarred lawyer who had famous clients, including the rights defender Chen Guangcheng, was last heard from on Nov. 21 when he was about to board a Beijing-bound train in Changsha, the capital of the south-central province of Hunan. His wife, Jin Bianling, who lives in California, said by telephone that he had not been heard from since.

“I hope the government could at least tell us, his family, where he is and what crimes he has committed,” Ms. Jin said. “At least we should know his whereabouts.”

Mr. Huang, who, like Mr. Liu, headed a legal rights group, was taken by the police from his home in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan on Monday night, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, an advocacy group that works out of the United States. Pu Fei, a volunteer in Mr. Huang’s organization, is also missing, according to reports by several human rights groups.

Their arrests echo the widespread detentions of rights defenders in July 2015, part of a crackdown on civil society under President Xi Jinping, who has spearheaded a drive to stamp out forces outside the Communist Party’s control out of fear that they threatened its survival.

Several of those people, mostly lawyers who specialized in defending dissidents as well as ordinary people such as victims of a 2008 tainted baby formula scandal, were given harsh sentences earlier this year. One, Zhou Shifeng, who headed a Beijing law firm that took on such cases, was given a seven-year sentence, also on a charge of subverting state power.

Mr. Jiang’s disappearance may be related to those arrests, because several of the rights defenders arrested last year still await trial, and he was active in supporting their families, his lawyer, Chen Jinxue, said by telephone. Mr. Jiang was visiting the wife of Xie Yang, one of the detained lawyers, and was trying to arrange a visit with Mr. Xie when he disappeared, Mr. Chen said.

Jiang Tianyong in 2012.
Ng Han Guan/Associated Press
Two of the men had something else in common. Mr. Huang and Mr. Liu headed rights organizations that have come under increasing scrutiny, and their detentions may be related to the pending implementation of a law on nongovernmental organizations that puts new restrictions on foreign groups operating in China. Such groups will be required to register with the Ministry of Public Security, and the police will have the right to scrutinize their operations, including financing, at any time. They must also find a Chinese partner. The law also makes Chinese groups that receive funding from outside the country more vulnerable.

The disappearances of Mr. Liu, who leads Civil Rights and Livelihood Watch, and Mr. Huang, who runs the 64 Tianwang Human Rights Center, may be a prelude to the law’s implementation.

“This may show the mind-set of the authorities as they come close to implementing the NGO law,” William Nee, a researcher for Amnesty International who is based in Hong Kong, said by telephone.

The mobile phones of Mr. Jiang, Mr. Liu and Mr. Huang were either turned off or appeared to not be working. A police officer in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, said that Mr. Huang had been arrested in Chengdu by officers from the nearby city of Mianyang. The police in Suizhou, Mr. Liu’s hometown, said the city government was handling Mr. Liu’s case but denied any further knowledge. The police in railway stations in Changsha and Beijing, as well as in Mr. Jiang’s hometown in central China, had no information on his whereabouts.

Mr. Chen, Mr. Jiang’s lawyer, said that his client had been moving from place to place in and around Beijing for three years, trying to avoid arrest. He had been detained for months in 2011, amid an earlier crackdown that came in the wake of the movements that swept authoritarian leaders in Tunisia and Egypt from power. China feared the so-called Jasmine Revolution would come to China as well.

Mr. Jiang was detained that year for two months, telling rights groups of his abuse at the hands of his interrogators, according to an account of his life on the website of China Change, a group based in the United States.

“If, as is strongly likely, this was an act carried out by state agents, then this would be an enforced disappearance, which is a crime under international law,” Mr. Nee of Amnesty International said. “Jiang Tianyong seems to be placed outside the protection of the law, which makes him at very vulnerable to torture and other human rights violations.”

_______

Follow Michael Forsythe on Twitter @PekingMike.

Kiki Zhao contributed research from Beijing.


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The Guardian
Tom Phillips in Beijing and Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong
Wednesday 30 November 2016 05.28 EST

■ Jiang Tianyong was last seen boarding a train to Beijing according to his wife who fears he has been detained by police


Friends and family of a respected Christian attorney who has been missing for more than a week fear he may have fallen victim to Beijing’s campaign against human rights lawyers and now languishes in secret custody.

Human rights activist Jiang Tianyong. His family fear he may
have been taken into secret detention by Chinese authorities.
Photograph: Ng Han Guan/AP
Jin Bianling, the wife of 45-year-old rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, said she had heard nothing from her husband since the night of 21 November when he had been due to board a train from the city of Changsha to Beijing.

Jiang had been in Changsha attempting to visit the wife of a fellow attorney who was among those detained as part of the so-called ‘709 crackdown’ - a major police offensive against Chinese civil rights lawyers that began on 9 July last year.

Almost one and a half years after that “war on law” began, several of China’s most admired human rights lawyers, including the crusading attorneys Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang - remain behind bars.

Speaking from the United States, where she has lived since 2013, Jin said she feared for her husband’s safety.

“I am very worried about him. I am worried about his health. I am worried he might be tortured while in jail,” she said.

Eva Pils, a King’s College London legal scholar who has known Jiang for more than a decade, said she was also worried about the well-being of Jiang, whose clients have included the blind barefoot lawyer Chen Guangcheng.

“I feel powerless. In my last meeting with him, in April 2016, much of our conversation revolved around the detention of his colleagues and what the authorities might do to them,” Pils said.

“It was clear to us that he was at a huge risk too. And yet there was nothing one could do but watch and wait for it to happen. Now it has happened and I hate the fact we have not been able to stop it and, inevitably, worry about who might be next.”

Pils added: “Since he has been effectively disappeared for a couple of days, and given his history of brutality at the hands of the police, I am most concerned that he might be tortured - again. If his detention was planned and is part of the ‘709’ crackdown – we can’t be quite sure yet - I expect that one way or another, mentally or physically, he will be tortured.”

About 250 lawyers and activists were targeted in the wide-raging sweep. Jiang has been an outspoken critic of the government’s campaign against lawyers and over 60 Chinese lawyers have written an open letter calling for his release.

Pils described Jiang as “warm, lively, talkative, really sharp-minded” and someone with “huge amounts of empathy and imagination”.

“He is also an emotional sort of person, easily fired up and easily upset,” she added. “And this is what worries his friends, because he won’t shut up when he thinks something is wrong. He really talks back.”

Jiang’s disappearance comes as two other grassroots activists have gone missing. Liu Feiyue, the founder of the website Civil Rights & Livelihood Watch, has been missing since 17 November and is being held on suspicion of “subversion of state power”, his family told the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Huang Qi, who has been in and out of prison for years for his activism, has also disappeared, the NGO said. Both Liu and Huang ran websites collecting stories of human rights violations, detailing hundreds of cases from village officials illegally evicting residents to the detention of protesters.


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Zhang Kai
Stock photo courtesy of Zhang Kai
China Aid
Translated by Carolyn Song.

(Hohhot, Inner Mongolia—Nov. 30, 2016) Zhang Kai, a prominent human rights lawyer living in China’s northern Inner Mongolia after serving six months in an unofficial prison, penned a letter on Thanksgiving, expressing his gratitude to those who supported him throughout his imprisonment.

On Aug. 25, 2015, Zhang and his two legal assistants vanished into police custody when officials broke into the church where they were staying in Wenzhou, Zhejiang. Zhang had relocated from Beijing to the city in order to represent churches affected by a widespread demolition campaign. For six months, authorities held Zhang incommunicado in an unofficial “black jail,” allowing him to resurface for a televised, forced confession. Afterwards, he was criminally detained and then released on bail.

On Thanksgiving Day, he wrote a letter to express his gratitude to those who supported him during this time. A translation of the letter can be read in full below.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by Zhang, in order to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians and promote religious freedom in China.



Zhang Kai's letter. (Photo: China Aid)
Zhang Kai’s Letter of Gratitude

The history of Thanksgiving is a history of escaping from oppression, seeking freedom and thanking God. On this special day, even though I often feel desperate and devastated, I deeply know in my heart that God always encourages and supports me with His irresistible love, and my gratitude is always beyond words.

Thanks to those comforted and cared for my parents when I was in trouble last year.

On this special day, I thank the friends, lawyers and the strangers who appealed for me and supported me.

Thanks to all the Christians at home and overseas, who are praying for me all of the time.

Thanks to all the lawyers, who stepped forward for me in my period of horror. They are: lawyer Li Guisheng, lawyer Zhang Lei, lawyer Li Baiguang, lawyer Lei Zhifeng, lawyer Li Jinglin, lawyer Qin Chenshou, lawyer Qin Yongpei, lawyer Chi Susheng, lawyer Si Weijiang, lawyer Zhang Peihong, lawyer Xiao Yunyang, lawyer Jiang Liao, lawyer Xiang Li, [etc.,] (apologies, there are many names that I am incapable of knowing).

Thanks to the scholars, lawyers, citizens, [etc.], who are devoted to bringing rule of law, human rights and freedom to China. It is you who fill the ridiculous world with love and warmth.

Hereto, I am immensely grateful to lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who provided my parents boundless comfort and calm when I was detained. He is a person of Jesus’ self-denying spirit, like a bright light in dark nights, allowing us to see hope and light. I hope Christians will pray for him.

Lawyer Zhang Kai wrote this on Thanksgiving

11/24/2016


ChinaAid Media Team
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China's Communist Party often
persecutes house churches, such as this
one in Guangdong province, which is
meeting outside its regular worship
place because officials sealed its
doors. (Photo: China Aid)
China Aid
Reported in Chinese by Qiao Nong. Translated by Carolyn Song.

(Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang—Nov. 30, 2016) Officials recently barred a prominent human rights lawyer from pleading innocent on behalf of his client, a Christian woman detained for holding a church service in China’s northwestern Xinjiang.

A trial of the first instance commenced in mid-November for Ma Huichao, whom officials charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” after apprehending her and the four others gathered at her house for a church meeting. Alleging that they held religious services without government approval, authorities administratively detained Ma's companions before releasing them and decided to prosecute her.

During the trial, Ma’s lawyer, Li Dunyong, said that the court disallowed him from pleading innocent on her behalf.

According to Li, the court is currently adjourned.

In Xinjiang, crackdowns on religious belief are intensifying. On Nov. 11, police dispersed a church meeting and administratively detained three of the attendees for “gathering a crowd to disturb public order” and “spreading illegal religion.” In the past two months, dozens of Christians from across the region have been taken into police custody for practicing their faith.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those suffered by Christians in Xinjiang, in order to stand with the persecuted and promote religious freedom in China.


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Radio Free Asia
2016-11-28

■ Fears are growing for the safety of top Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who went missing, believed detained, last week.

Jiang, 45, has been incommunicado since he traveled to Hunan's provincial capital Changsha a week ago to meet with relatives of lawyers detained in last year's nationwide crackdown.

U.S.-based legal scholar Teng Biao said Jiang is in poor health with very high blood pressure, as well as being at risk of torture.

Rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, who went missing on Nov. 21,
2016, after meeting relatives of jailed lawyers, in an undated
photo. RFA
"We are extremely worried and concerned about the possibility that he could suffer torture or other forms of inhumane treatment [at the hands of the authorities]," Teng told RFA.

"I think the authorities have likely got him under surveillance ... I'm certain he has been kidnapped by them; that's without doubt," he said.

"The government is always using these kinds of underhand mafia tactics on lawyers and rights activists," he said.

More than 60 lawyers have issued a statement calling on the authorities to investigate Jiang's "disappearance" after he failed to make the D940 express train from Shandong back to Beijing on Nov. 21.

"If Jiang Tianyong is under some form of coercive measures [such as residential surveillance], then the department in charge of the case should immediately issue written notification to his family," the statement said.

"His right to hire a lawyer and other basic rights must also be guaranteed," it said.

Call for explanation


Jiang's wife Jin Bianling, who is currently in the United States, told RFA on Monday that the authorities owe her and the rest of his family an explanation.

"Jiang has been missing for a week now ... and we want to call on the authorities to investigate Jiang Tianyong's disappearance," Jin said.

"They should give his family an explanation, including specific details about his location, and any crimes he is suspected of," she said.

Jiang is likely to have been detained in connection with his representation of lawyers held in a nationwide crackdown that began on July 9, 2015 with a police raid on the offices of the Fengrui law firm and the detention of its key lawyers, including Wang Yu, his associates have said.

Beijing-based Jiang lost contact with friends and family after he visited Chen Guiqiu, the wife of detained rights lawyer Xie Yang, in Changsha.

"I want more and more people to know about his case," Jin said, adding that the charges used to detain more than 300 lawyers, activists, and law firm staff in the July 9, 2015 crackdown were "ridiculous."

"There's no way they stand up from a legal point of view," she said.

'A serious violation'

Henan-based rights lawyer Chang Boyang, who was recently hired by Jiang's father to defend him, said he is very worried for his client's safety.

"Enforced disappearances constitute a very serious violation of the law, and of the rule of law," Chang told RFA. "If that is going to happen, then nobody feels safe."

"If he has really committed a crime, then they should follow due process in dealing with it, and inform the family," he said.

"This sort of thing flies in the face of what President Xi Jinping was saying about running the country according to law," Chang said.

Fellow defense lawyer Chen Jinxue said he had reported Jiang missing at the Western Railway Station police station in Beijing last week, and called on them to investigate surveillance footage from the cameras in the station.

But Chen's status as Jiang's lawyer hadn't been recognized by police, he said.

"It is an illegal requirement to ask for proof of the lawyer-client relationship, but his family have sent it over anyway," Chen said.

"We will be pursuing this matter further," he said.

High-profile dissidents

German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel last week expressed "concern" at Jiang's fate, according to the country's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Jiang's disappearance came after he joined a group of lawyers, dissidents, and critical intellectuals who met with Gabriel during his visit to Beijing on Nov. 2 at the German Embassy in Beijing.

The lawyer has previously represented high-profile dissidents, including blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng, now living in the United States, and Christian rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.

He was kidnapped by police in February 2011 and held for two months, during which time he reported being tortured and mistreated by his captors.

In March 2014, he was detained and beaten up by police to the extent that he lost eight teeth, after he tried to visits inmates of an extrajudicial "black jail" in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

More than 300 lawyers, law firm staff, rights activists, and relatives have been detained, questioned, or placed under surveillance or other restrictions since the crackdown began.

At least 16 remain in criminal detention on subversion charges, while four have been handed jail terms of up to seven years, according to the Hong Kong-based Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group.

Balance of rights

New United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, who is currently on a visit to Beijing, called on world governments to respect human rights.

China often clashes with U.N. bodies and envoys over its human rights record, and Guterres made the comments with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi standing beside him.

"In a world torn by war, a United Nations [should] enhance diplomacy for peace," Guterres said.

"In a world where so many rights are not respected, [we need] to make sure that there is an effective combination in human rights, of the civil and political rights and the economic and social rights in a balanced way," Guterres said.

Wang merely replied: "The U.N. is an effective platform for responses to global challenges and the central institution for international efforts to handle global affairs."

Reported by Qiao Long for RFA's Mandarin Service and by Ng Yik-tung for the Cantonese Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.


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The Wall Street Journal
By Jared Genser
Nov. 29, 2016 7:11 p.m. ET

■ Honor Liu Xiaobo—a Nobel winner—with a street sign in front of China’s Embassy.

In the waning days of the current Congress, House Speaker Paul Ryan has an opportunity to send a message to Beijing about the value Americans place on human rights. He can bring to the floor for a vote a bill adopted unanimously in the Senate to rename the street in front of the Chinese Embassy for Liu Xiaobo, China’s jailed Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Mr. Liu was arrested in December 2008 after penning a series of essays and participating in the drafting of a pro-democracy manifesto known as Charter 08. The government held him in solitary confinement without charge or access to legal counsel before ultimately sentencing him to 11 years in prison for “inciting subversion.”
The dissident in April 2008.
Photo: Associated Press

Shortly after Mr. Liu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, his wife, Liu Xia, was placed under house arrest. She has been held in her apartment in Beijing without charge or trial for more than five years. A guard is posted outside her door 24 hours a day.

When Chinese dissidents organize and challenge the one-party system, Beijing responds with an iron fist, imprisoning and torturing those who dare to speak out. Chinese authorities highlight Liu Xiaobo’s case to many of these troublemakers, pointing out that the world won’t help even Nobelist Liu Xiaobo.

President Obama has raised Mr. Liu’s case publicly just twice. But neither he nor anyone from the White House has publicly mentioned Liu Xia’s name let alone challenged China’s claim that she is free. If Mr. Obama has made any private efforts on behalf of the Lius, they have had no discernible effect.

In February the Senate adopted a bill to rename the street in front of the Chinese Embassy. This legislation followed the bipartisan tradition of a bill adopted by Congress in 1984 and signed into law by President Reagan renaming the street in front of the Soviet Embassy for dissident Andrei Sakharov, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.

Speaking after the Senate action, State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner indicated that the president would veto the bill if it reaches his desk. “We view this kind of legislative action as something that only complicates our efforts, so we oppose this approach,” he said.

Meanwhile, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Affairs Committee, apparently agrees with the administration and is blocking the bill from being considered in his committee. Speaker Ryan has the authority to move the bill to an immediate vote on the House floor, where it would likely pass by a bipartisan, veto-proof majority.

Surely the United States should celebrate the courage of individuals who stand up to authoritarian regimes. If Mr. Obama wants to veto this bill and stand with China against his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, then let that be his legacy on human rights.

Mr. Genser is founder of Freedom Now and serves as pro bono counsel to Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia.


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Morning Star News
Nov 22, 2016 04:09 pm EST

■ (Morning Star News) – A pastor in southwestern China, jailed for nearly a year on fabricated charges and suffering a liver disease, focuses on trusting God in a letter of encouragement to his wife, according to China Aid.

Authorities took pastor Li Guozhi, better known as Yang Hua, into custody after a raid on his church in central Guizhou Province on Dec. 9, 2015. In a Nov. 8 letter to his wife, Wang Hongwu, Pastor Yang encourages her to focus more on God than on the "noise" of humanity, according to the Texas-based advocacy organization.

Authorities raid house church in
Guiyang, Guizhou Province.
(China Aid)
"Our wonderful God, our Lord forever," he writes. "Who can guess His wisdom and mystery? Our faith is built on His words (He never changes and never does wrong; this is the unchangeable maxim). Sometimes, somebody will decide something by guessing and then [testing their theory], but we don't. We listen more to God and less to human beings."

After describing how doctors applying sulfur ointment were able to heal the scabies he had suffered all over his body, he tells her not to worry about his health.

"The fatty liver disease was diagnosed in prison," he writes. "The suffering is bearable. The Lord has grace. The canker sore has not returned since May of this year. Thank God."

Pastor Yang was initially arrested for "obstructing justice" and "gathering a crowd to disturb public order" after he tried to stop authorities from confiscating his computer hard drive, according to China Aid. He was sentenced to two consecutive, five-day administrative detention sentences for each charge, but on Dec. 20, 2015, when he was supposed to be released, his wife saw authorities forcing the blindfolded pastor into an unlicensed vehicle, the advocacy group said.

She subsequently learned that Pastor Yang's charge had been changed to "illegally possessing state secrets," and that he was being transferred to another center to serve a criminal detention sentence, according to China Aid.

"After a month of no word about her husband, who had disappeared into official custody, Wang received a notice on Jan. 22 announcing her husband's formal arrest for ‘divulging state secrets,'" a press statement from China Aid read. "Initially, officials refused to allow Chen Jiangang and Zhao Yonglin, Yang's lawyers, to meet with requests to meet with their client, and Wang was also kept from seeing her husband. Eventually, however, Chen and Zhao received permission to confer with their client, and Wang was able to correspond with her husband via letter."

In the letter, Pastor Yang encourages Wang and the church to encourage and give hope to each other.

"Never be dejected and despondent, always look up at our Lord, and always keep the spiritual life above the chaos of the real environment," he writes. "Rest in God's arms. ‘Some rely on chariots, some on horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord." Be upright and take care. Be prepared for the rest of the road. I will go with you. If the Lord doesn't allow it, not a single hair [from your head] will drop to the floor."

Pastor Stripped of License
In Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, a pastor who had been jailed and released lost his position when state-run agencies revoked his license to preach and expelled him from leadership, Christian Aid reported.

The Zhejiang Provincial China Christian Council and the Zhejiang Provincial Three-Self Patriotic Movement enacted the orders against Zhang Chongzhu on Oct. 29, outraging area Christians who suspected the government terminated him to keep people from attending unregistered house churches, the group reported.

Zhang had been "placed under ‘residential surveillance in a designated location,' otherwise known as a ‘black jail,' last September [2015]," China Aid reported. "On Feb. 5, he was criminally detained for ‘stealing, spying, buying, or illegally providing state secrets or intelligence to entities outside China.'"

He was formally arrested on March 9 under the charges but was released on May 9, the group reported.

In China's restive Xinjiang Province, three Christians were detained on Nov. 11 for "spreading religion illegally" and "gathering a mob to disturb public order" after police dispersed a meeting they had organized, according to China Aid.

Police on Nov. 11 dispersed a group of Han and Uyghur Christians who had gathered for
Bible training at Xinfeng Church, and the event's planners - Li Rong, Liu Peijin, Wang Yubiao, Wang Encheng, Wang Hailong, David, and Gu Li - were taken into police custody. Li, Liu, and a Christian identified only as Wang were handed 15-day administrative detention sentences, while the others were released, China Aid reported.

"In the past two months," the group said in a press statement, "Xinjiang authorities detained or arrested dozens of Christians for holding house church gatherings, including three Christians in Wensu County, two people from Xinhe County, three people from Baicheng County, seven people from Akesu, two Christians in Yanqi County, two individuals in Hejing County, and 16 people in the Kuerle region, 13 of whom were also physically attacked."


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Christian Today
Harry Farley 
Published 25 November 2016

■ Forced organ harvesting continues to target Christians and other religious minorities in China, according to investigators.

Between 60,000 and 100,000 organ transplants have been carried out in China since 2000, most of which were harvested from minority faith groups,according to two investigations by human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Crown attorney David Kilgour. They say the practice is the largest source of revenue for Chinese hospitals and the government and health insitutions are both involved.

Matas and Kilgour presented their report in Ottawa earlier this month. The pair described organ harvesting as "the kernel at the centre of human rights violations in China".

The main victims were from those practising the Falun Gong religion and other prisoners of conscience including the Muslim Uyghurs, Tibetan Buddhists and Christians.

"Organ pillaging in China is a crime in which the Communist Party, state institutions, the health system, hospitals, and the transplant profession are all complicit", said Kilgour, according to Evangelical Focus.

Claims of forced organ harvesting have surfaced over the years but it is difficult to prove because of China's opaque legal system.

Bob Fu, founder and president of the Christian persecution charity China Aid, called for an independent inquiry into the allegations.

"This barbaric practice of organs harvesting continues in China. I applaud the enormous work to highlight this issue by the two Canadian friends," he told the Christian Post.

Christians in China are facing increased restrictions under Xi
Jinping's rule. Reuters
"Although I do not have systematic evidence showing this is massively practiced toward Christian prisoners of conscience yet, the fact one more high profile prisoner Mr Jia Jinglong's organs were bluntly harvested before he was executed unjustly without any consent from his lawyers nor any of his family members last week should certainly and absolutely warrant an independent investigation by a credible international panel," he added.

The US House of Representatives passed a resolution in June calling on the State Department to report annually to Congress on the implementation of an existing law barring visas to Chinese and other nationals engaged in coercive organ transplantation. The resolution also condemned persecution of Falun Gong, a spiritual group China calls a cult and has outlawed.

China accused Congress of making "groundless accusations."

The European Parliament passed a similar declaration in July calling for an independent investigation of "persistent, credible reports on systematic, state-sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience" in China.


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Aljazeera
24 November 2016

■ Jian, who had been lobbying on behalf of China's rights lawyers, has not been heard from since Monday.

One of China's most prominent human rights campaigners, Jiang Tianyong, has disappeared during a trip to visit relatives of a detained rights lawyer, Jiang's wife said.

Jiang, a legal activist, has not been heard from since Monday, when he was due to board a train to return to Beijing, his wife, Jin Bianling, said on Thursday.

Jiang met relatives of a jailed lawyer in Changsha, in central
China, shortly before going missing [AP]
Jiang's defence work involved some of China's most politically sensitive figures in recent years, including the dissident lawyer Gao Zhisheng and blind activist Chen Guangcheng.

Jiang was disbarred in 2009 but has continued his activism, recently helping to publicise the plight of nearly two dozen lawyers arrested as part of a sweeping 2015 government crackdown.

He could not be reached on Thursday on his mobile phone, which was turned off.

Jiang told the Associated Press news agency in June that he feared he could be arrested at any moment and rarely spent more than a few nights in one place.

Speaking by telephone from California, Jin said her husband's family sought to file a missing person report in his city of registered residence, Zhengzhou, in central China, but police turned them away and told to seek information in Beijing instead.

The Ministry of Public Security in Beijing did not immediately respond to a fax requesting comment about Jiang's whereabouts.


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The Christian Post
By Stoyan Zaimov
Nov 23, 2016 | 9:26 am

■ Forced organ-harvesting is a grim reality that continues in China, a Christian human rights organization has said in response to a new report on the work of two Canadian lawyers who are exposing the practice, which is said to be affecting prisoners of conscience, including Christians.

Catholics attend a Christmas eve mass at a Catholic church
near the city of Taiyuan, Shanxi province, December 24,
2012. (Photo: Reuters/Jason Lee/File Photo)
Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid, told The Christian Post in an interview on Tuesday that he doesn't have systematic evidence that Christian prisoners are specifically being targeted in the Chinese organ-harvesting scheme, but called for an independent investigation to look into the shocking claims, which Chinese authorities deny.

"This barbaric practice of organs harvesting continues in China. I applaud the enormous work to highlight this issue by the two Canadian friends," Fu told CP, commenting on a report in The Associated Press this week.

The report said that David Kilgour, a former prosecutor and Canadian secretary of state for Asia-Pacific, and David Matas, a human rights lawyer, claim that around 60,000 to 1000,000 organ transplants take place in China every year.

The Canadian lawyers, who are urging Australian lawmakers to pass a motion demanding that China ends the controversial practice, have said that the only "plausible explanation" for the sourcing of the organs is that they come from prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners, Muslim Uighurs, Tibetan Buddhists, and Christians.

AP noted that China's legal system makes it hard for such claims to be independently verified. What is more, China has insisted that it has reformed its controversial system and that it no longer harvests organs from executed prisoners.

Huang Jiefu, the director of the China Organ Donation and Transplantation Committee, said in October that the Chinese government has 'zero tolerance' for non-voluntary organ transplants, Reuters reported.

"Since 2015, I can guarantee that in our system 100 percent are voluntary citizen donors," Huang told reporters at a conference on organ donation at the time.

"Because China is a big country with 1.3 billion people and regional development is uneven, occasional legal violations are unavoidable," he added, admitting that corruption might still exist in the system.

Kilgour and Matas's work has been highlighted by a number of publications, including Voice of America, and they have published several reports on the issue, including one titled "Bloody Harvest: Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China," which attracted international attention.

"We look at individual hospitals that do transplants through their websites, their publications, their newsletters, their back calendars and patient volume and so on, and at a variety of indicators going hospital by hospital," Matas told VOA in June about their work.

"There are around 900 hospitals that do transplants. We don't give a specific figure but we can say it is much larger than the 10,000 a year — at minimum 60,000 a year and probably more than that," he claimed.

CNN reports that much of the attention has fallen on Falung Gong practitioners, which China brands as a "cult" and accuses of "anti-China political activities" — something which Christians and other religious minorities are regularly accused of as well.

Chinese doctors in this undated Reuters file photo.
(Photo: Reuters)
The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has also raised concern about forced organ harvesting.

"The Chinese government has been trafficking in organs for profit for far too long and we have strong evidence that Falun Gong practitioners were singled out for organ harvesting," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who co-chairs the committee, has said.

Some, such as Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade First Assistant Secretary Graham Fletcher, have disputed the work of the Canadian lawyers, however, and argued that "they are not given credence by serious human rights activists," as there is an alleged lack of evidence for their claims.

Fu told CP that the Canadian lawyers are 'looking for an explanation' for where the harvested organs are coming from when they report on the possible plight of Christians and other minorities, and pointed to a number of recent news stories of forced organ harvesting.

"Although I do not have systematic evidence showing this is massively practiced toward Christian prisoners of conscience yet, the fact [that] one more high profile prisoner Mr Jia Jinglong's organs were bluntly harvested before he was executed unjustly without any consent from his lawyers nor any of his family members last week should certainly and absolutely warrant an independent investigation by a credible international panel," he added.

BBC News reported on Jia Jinglong's plight earlier in November, noting that the Chinese villager was executed for killing the village chief, despite a major public campaign calling on his sentence to be commuted due to extenuating circumstances.

The China Aid President, whose U.S.-based organization investigates the ongoing government crackdown of Christians in China, said that such an independent investigation is "long overdue," insisting that despite the Communist Party's denial, organ harvesting has not ended in China.


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China Aid

Updated on Nov. 29, 2016 at 2:29 p.m. CST

(Changsha, Hunan—Nov. 23, 2016) Authorities kidnapped a Christian human rights lawyer yesterday and have been holding for more than 24 hours.

Jiang Tianyong, a human rights attorney, was visiting the family of another imprisoned defense lawyer, Xie Yang, in Changsha, Hunan, when authorities abducted him. In the past, officials repeatedly kidnapped and tortured Jiang.

In response Jiang's disappearance, China Aid president Bob Fu said:
“Please continue to pray for him and his family. He is a bold Christian human rights lawyer who chose to defend prisoners of conscience, such as Tibetans, Uyghurs, tortured lawyer Gao Zhisheng, blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng, petitioners who lost their lands, and other vulnerable groups in China. He was beaten up by five public security bureau officials and almost lost his hearing due to ear damage when he tried to visit Chen Guangcheng in the hospital. This was after Chen was walked out of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing in May 2012. He was tortured so severely that, in 2014, eight of his ribs were broken due to his visit to a ‘black jail’ in Heilongjiang province, where a number of Falun Gong practitioners were being held for years for ‘mind transformation (forced brainwashing).’ In 2009, when I invited him, along with a group of rights defenders, to visit the United States, he and another Christian human rights lawyer, Zhang Kai, were the only ones who decided to testify at their own peril on both the rule of law and China’s brutal forced abortion and sterilization practice before the US Congress. The two Co-Chairs, Representatives Chris Smith and Frank Wolf, were greatly touched by their bravery. They are like my family members. I urge President Obama and President-Elect Trump to speak up for him in a rapidly worsening situation. Fortunately, we helped resettle his wife and daughter in Los Angles a few years ago; otherwise, they would have been taken as hostages to pressure Jiang.”
A letter from Jiang's wife, written  has been translated below.

China Aid reports abuses, such as those experienced by Jiang Tianyong and Xie Yang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom in China.



Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong has been lost for more than 24 hours in Changsha because he visited the family members of a 709 case prisoner

Several days ago, my husband, lawyer Jiang Tianyong, went to Changsha, Henan, to visit Chen Guiqiu, the wife of Xie Yang, who was arrested in the 709 case [Editor’s note: The “709 case” refers to a mass round up of lawyers and is named after the day it began, July 9, 2015]. During his stay, he accompanied Chen Guiqiu, Xie Yang's defense lawyers Zhang Chongshi and Lin Qilei, and fellow lawyer Ma Lianshun to Changsha Detention Center to learn about meeting with Xie Yang.

At 10:22 p.m. on November 21, Jiang Tianyong told me that he purchased D940 train tickets back to Beijing and that the departure time was 10:53 p.m. [If the train was on time], he should have arrived in Beijing at 6:30 a.m. the next day. Afterwards, we lost contact. As of the morning of Nov. 23, it has been more than 24 hours [from the time he should have been in Beijing]. During that time, I repeatedly called his phone. Every time, the system said "[The call] has been transferred to the Secretary desk.” I also failed to get in touch with him through a variety of internet communications. I asked friends in Changsha and Beijing, and they all said they have not been able to reach Jiang Tianyong within the last 24 hours.

In light of Jiang Tianyong repeatedly suffering kidnapping by the secret police while in the process of engaging in human rights work and, after the 709 case, more and more lawyers faced enforced disappearance and torture, I appeal to people from all walks of life to pay close attention to this instance of losing contact with Jiang Tianyong.

Jiang Tianyong’s wife: Jin Bianling

Early morning on November 23, 2016

A brief introduction to Jiang Tianyong:

Jiang Tianyong is a 45-year-old senior human rights lawyer. He obtained his lawyer qualification certificate in 2001. In November of 2004, he started his career in Beijing Gaobo Longhua Law Firm. In 2005, he was commissioned as the defense lawyer in the Chen Guangcheng case. Since then, he has been involved in the Gao Zhisheng case, the Shanbei oil field case, the Taishi Village in Guangzhou case, the AIDS infected person’s rights case, the Hepatitis B carrier’s rights case, a very large environmental protection case in Dongyang, Zhejiang, the appeal case of Hai Laite, a reporter for Xinjiang’s legal system’s newspaper (his family was forced to renounce his commissioning under official pressure official pressure), Pu Buzeren Lama’s case in Tibet, the Jiumei case of Labrang Monastery in Gansu, and other religious cases. In July 2009, his lawyer license was revoked by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice. Subsequently, he continued to adhere to participating and maintaining human rights as a citizen.

On February 19, 2011, Jiang Tianyong was kidnapped by the police and was missing for two months, during which he was tortured.

On May 4, 2012, , Jiang Tianyong, was brutally beaten by the state security secret police, resulting in a perforation of the left tympanic membrane and a drop in hearing in both ears for visiting blind activist Chen Guangcheng, who was hospitalized in Beijing's Chaoyang Hospital. At least five national security secret police took part in the assault.

In March 2014, Jiang Tianyong visited Jiansanjiang, a “black jail” in Heilongjiang, and was detained and beaten by police, resulting in eight rib fractures.


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