Monday, May 8, 2017

Tom Phillips - China puts leading human rights lawyer Xie Yang on trial for 'inciting subversion'

NB: The Chinese Communist Party has always been terrified of the truth. They choose to crush those of their citizens who uphold their own constitutional rights. Clearly these rights are meant as face-cream for a repressive and authoritarian regime that can't face the truth about itself. This is not new, it was the case during the Bangladesh crisis of 1970-71, & the first phase of the Naxalite movement, when they supported the genocidal Yahya Khan regime and kept the facts from their own people. Democrats the world over should support this brave lawyer.  Down with totalitarianism. DS

'Emaciated, unrecognisable': China releases human rights lawyer from custody

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A leading Chinese human rights lawyer has been put on trial for allegedly conspiring to overthrow China’s political system, just days after the United Nations slammed Beijing’s ongoing offensive against human rights defenders. Xie Yang, a 44-year-old attorney who was among the best-known targets of a sweeping crackdown dubbed China’s “war on law”, went on trial at 9.30am in the central city of Changsha, according to Xinhua, the Communist party-controlled news agency.

Lawyer Xie Yang who has been detained by Chinese authorities as part of a crack down on human rights.
Lawyer Xie Yang who has been detained by Chinese authorities as part of a crack down on human rights
State media reports said Xie stood accused of “inciting state subversion” - an offence defined by the country’s criminal law as an attempt to subvert state power or overthrow the socialist system by spreading “rumours or slanders”. The crime carries a possible sentence of up to five years although those considered to be “ringleaders” or to have committed “grave crimes” could face longer jail terms. Xie, who has been in custody since the crackdown began, in July 2015, is the latest human rights lawyer to stand trial. In late April another crusading lawyer, Li Heping, was convicted of “subversion of state power” and handed a suspended sentence following a secret trial. Despite his sentence Li, who has not seen his family since he was seized nearly two years ago, is not thought to have been released. 

Xie’s plight made headlines earlier this year after his lawyers released an explosive account of the torture sessions they claimed their client had suffered during his time in custody. “We’ll torture you to death just like an ant,” one inquisitor was said to have told Xie during his allegedly barbaric ordeal.
The Chinese government reacted furiously to those accusations, which experts said were impossible to verify but consistent with abuses previously documented by human rights groups. State-run media outlets have accused the western media of spreading “fake news” about Xie’s treatment, dismissing such claims a series of “cleverly orchestrated lies”. In late February, ambassadors from countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and the United Kingdom, wrote to Guo Shengkun, China’s minister of public security, to voice their disquiet over the torture claims and call for an independent investigation. The campaign to discredit Xie’s story appeared to continue at Monday’s trial, which Xinhua said was attended by more than 40 people. According to the Global Times newspaper Xie told the court “he had not been tortured as was claimed by some reports” and that “his legal rights had been sufficiently protected” by more:

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