Human rights lawyer unjustly tried for subversion in Hunan, pleads guilty after months of torture

Monday, May 8, 2017

Xie Yang, pictured with a guard, this morning at his trial 
in the Changsha Intermediate Peoples Court. (Photo: 

(Changsha, Hunan—May 8, 2017) A court in Changsha, the capital of China’s central Hunan province tried a prominent human rights lawyer for subversion today after a year and a half in prison.

Xie Yang was originally arrested during the now infamous “709 crackdown,” a widespread mass detainment of human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015. Xie himself was detained on July 11, 2015.

During Xie’s time in prison, he revealed that he had been tortured and the lawyers appointed by his family were blocked numerous times from being able to meet with him. China launched a propaganda campaign in response, claiming that the reports were false.

On Jan. 13, 2017, Xie made a written declaration that he was not guilty and said that if he ever were to confess to the subversion charges, it would be either due to continued torture or for the sake of his family.

During the trial early this morning, Xie—as he predicted he might be forced to do—pleaded guilty to the charges in a prepared statement and asked the court to be lenient in his sentencing. The court’s twitter account posted a video clip of Xie denying that he was tortured as he read from a written sheet.

The trial was completed by noon and the court called no witnesses.

Xie’s wife, Chen Guiqiu, and their two daughters, recently escaped to America, fearing that the courts would use them as hostages against Xie.

Chen said her husband is innocent and the trial was a sham. “Your play was performed beautifully,” she said. “Changsha Intermediate People’s Court: history will remember your ‘great’ trial. All the people who participated in Xie Yang’s trial: history will remember all of you!”

Bob Fu, founder and president of ChinaAid, expressed his sadness regarding the outcome of the trial. Fu was instrumental in leading the rescue efforts for Chen and her daughters out of China.

“This is one of the saddest and darkest days of China’s human rights and rule of law,” Fu said. “Today’s so-called ‘trial’ on Xie Yang is nothing but an orchestrated, disgusting, political persecution show against an innocent human rights lawyer. The undeniable facts of torture Xie has been suffering from both his interrogators and prosecutors will serve as historical evidence that the trial itself was unjust and unfair. Xie is completely innocent and should be released unconditionally.”

ChinaAid reports on human rights abuses, such as the unjust trial of Xie Yang, in order to expose unlawful behavior by the Chinese government against its citizens.

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