Police Torture Alleged in Suspected Murder Case of Village Chief Qian Yunhui

Saturday, April 30, 2011

imageChina Aid Association
(Zhaiqiao village, Zhejiang province – April 30, 2011) The mother of a witness in the sensational case of the village chief Qian Yunhui, whom many in China believe was murdered by the government, alleges in a statement dated and released Friday that her son was tortured in police custody, ChinaAid has learned. (Picture: the signed statement)
The allegation of police torture contained in the statement by Qian Chengyu’s mother, Wang Saihua, is just the most recent in a growing number of reports of violent police brutality against those in custody. Last week, a report surfaced that artist Ai Weiwei had confessed under torture to economic crimes while in police custody; see http://www.chinaaid.org/2011/04/tortured-by-police-artist-ai-weiwei.html

Wang’s one-page, four-point statement alleges that police extracted a confession from her son under torture and also forced him to switch lawyers. The confession was signed by Wang and also carried her fingerprint.
Qian Yunhui was a popular elected village chief who had a long history of petitioning against alleged abuses by the local government, most recently against the building of a power plant. On Christmas morning 2010, he was crushed to death by a construction truck carrying stones to the plant construction site. Authorities said it was a traffic accident, but several witnesses say they saw four uniformed men wearing white gloves holding Qian Yunhui down while the truck’s front tire rolled over him. Graphic and gruesome video of Qian’s death spread like wildfire across the internet.
Qian Chengyu was arrested on January 27, just before the trial of the truck driver at which he was due to testify. He was charged with unspecified acts of “disrupting public services.” The two Qian’s are not related.
Wang’s four-point statement said:
1)      All verbal confessions by Qiang Chengyu extracted under torture are null and void.
2)      I only recognize the original lawyer I and Qian Chengyu had retained, namely lawyers Zhang Kai and Yang Xuelin. I do not recognize any lawyer retained by Qian Chengyu under torture or through trickery.
3)      I strongly condemn the Yueqing city judicial organs for breaking the very laws they are supposed to enforce and for their blatant disregard for human life.
4)      I demand the immediate and unconditional release of my son Qian Chengyu
One of the dismissed lawyers, Christian Zhang Kai, had earlier handled the infamous “My Father is Li Gang” case, a fatal hit-and-run accident in which the drunk driver, when arrested, shouted that “my father is Li Gang,” thinking that his father’s position as a local deputy police chief would get him off.
Zhang, a member of the group Christian Human Rights Lawyers of China, has been invited several times to the United States for meetings with legal scholars and lawmakers and policy makers.
Zhang and the Qian Yunhai and “My Father is Li Gang” cases were highlighted in ChinaAid’s 2010 annual report for handling cases that related to citizens’ rights rather than just religious freedom issues, thereby greatly expanding the impact of the activities of Christian human rights lawyers to society as a whole.

China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: r.ritchie@chinaaid.org
Website: www.chinaaid.org