Chinese Lawyers Tortured for Standing Up for Human Rights

Practitioners gather to do Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa) exercises in Columbus Park in Chinatown. (Screenshot from
Practitioners gather to do Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa) exercises in Columbus Park in Chinatown. (Screenshot from

The three human rights lawyers told The New York Times they were “hung from the ceiling and beaten. Guards also threatened, variously, to bury them alive, take out their kidneys, and feed them to dogs like Kim Jong Un’s uncle.”

Police arrested the lawyers on March 21 for their attempt to secure the release of practitioners of Falun Gong, a persecuted spiritual practice, who were locked up in “black jails” in the Jiansanjiang police station in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province.

On April 6, after 15 days of detention by security forces in the north of China, three of the four lawyers were released. They quickly revealed what they suffered in custody—torture, beatings, and mental abuse—according to the Epoch Times and The New York Times.

The other lawyer, Zhang Junjie, was released earlier on March 26 with three spinal injuries, reported the Epoch Times.

The other lawyers, Tang Jitian, Jiang Tianyong, and Wang Cheng told the Epoch Times details of their torture.

Jiang was hung up with his hands cuffed behind his back and beaten with a hard object.

Wang was brutalized. “They beat and kick me during the day, and hung me up in the air at night with handcuffs on and a black hood over my head,” Wang said in a telephone interview with the Epoch Times.

Tang went through the same beatings and was also forced to sign a false confession, admitting he had organized people to go to the Legal Education Center protest (aka “black jail”), and they forced him to sign in agreement that Falun Gong is a so-called ‘evil religion.’”

“They threatened to bury me alive, take one of my kidneys out, and bankrupt me. They also said they’d send me to the Legal Education Center as well, the brainwashing center,” Tang said in the report.

The Communist Party has been using the term “evil religion” to justify its persecution since they outlawed the Buddhist based practice in 1999.

Human Rights Watch China and Amnesty International both called for an investigation, according to the Times.

“The torture of human-rights lawyers in police custody isn’t just an assault against the individuals concerned, but also against the legal profession,” said Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch’s China director, in a statement quoted in the Times.

On the other hand, the Global Times was plugging the usual party line, scolding the lawyers , “It is regrettable to see the people that should take the law most seriously challenging it.”

According to the Epoch Times report, the lawyers said the Legal Education Base, is operated to coerce Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their faith as a condition of release. Falun Gong includes five slow-motion exercises and teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.”

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