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Joint Statement by the Four Lawyers Detained in Jiansanjiang Following Their Release

April 23, 2014

[Translation by volunteers]

We, Jiang Tianyong, Tang Jitian, Wang Cheng and Zhang Junjie, make the following statement in regards to the unlawful detention of lawyers and other citizens by the Jiansanjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Public Security Bureau in Heilongjiang Province:

1. The Legal Education Base of the General Office of Heilongjiang Agribusiness Reclamation (aka the Qinglongshan Brainwashing Class, located on Qinglongshan Farm of the Jiansanjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Administration Office) is a site for committing the crime of unlawful detention and our acceptance of the representation of victims of unlawful detention and their relatives to negotiate and bring complaints in accordance with law is entirely lawful conduct. For years, the Jiansanjiang Legal Education Base and its staff have detained citizens who upheld their beliefs, such as Shi Mengchang, Yu Songjiang and Jiang Xinbo, and have acted to deprive them of their physical liberty for periods of several months in shorter instances and up to several years in longer instances, without any legal procedures, formalities or documents at all. This is a violation of Article 238 of the PRC Criminal Law and constitutes the crime of unlawful detention. This ‘Legal Education Base’ is a classic euphemism for what is in fact a base for the perpetration of crimes. In accepting the representation of the victims and their families to make criminal accusations against those who carried out the unlawful detentions, Zhang Junjie, acting as a lawyer, and the three others acting as citizens, completed legal formalities and had a solid legal basis for their representation, and their conduct was entirely lawful.

2. The Jiansanjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Public Security Bureau’s decision to impose public order detention on us, they severely violated the law. The so-called interrogation records were entirely extracted [from us] through torture; and we reserve our right to represent [our clients], bring a case [against these authorities] and report [their] criminal conduct. At around 8 am on March 21, 2014, the Jiansangjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Police Bureau stormed the hotel rooms where we stayed without complying with any procedures, and seized us in a kidnapping fashion. They grabbed our mobile phones, bundled us into car trunks, and took us to the Daxing Branch Public Security Bureau. There, they tortured us in various ways, including shackling our hands behind our backs, suspending us [by the hands], and beating us, repeatedly and over a lengthy period of time. In addition, the Bureau forced us to give up our representation of victims of unlawful detention in filing criminal complaints, and forced us also to give up our right to file complaints about our own experience of unlawful detention and torture.

3. As we knew during our detention and understand even more fully now, a large number of lawyers and citizens quickly became aware of our misfortune and initiated a rescue effort on our behalf. We also know that many lawyers and citizens were harassed, followed, beaten, and even detained by the personnel of the Jiansanjiang Public Security Bureaufor coming to our aid. We express our most heartfelt gratitude to all for their concern, appeals and rescue efforts! We also sincerely urge our friends to keep up their concern and rescue efforts for the 14 citizens who still remain detained by the Jiansanjiang police, including Zhai Yanmin, Jiang Jianjun, Zhang Shengyu, Sun Dongsheng, Li Baolin, Chen Jianxiong, Yuan Xianchen, Li Fawang, Liang Yan, Zhao Yuan, Zhang Shiqing, Li Dawei, Zhang Yan, and Chi Jinchun, and also to watch out for the safety of the lawyers who are now traveling to Jiansanjiang to rescue these citizens!

4. We sincerely urge our friends to pay close attention to those citizens detained in black jails, as well as their families, and to do all they can to provide them assistance and legal aid.

5. After the abolition of the Re-education-Through-Labor (RTL) system, a large number of unlawful detention sites like the Legal Education Bases in Heilongjiang Province have emerged, endangering the liberty of us all. We call on all citizens to strive together to expose and indict this bases for the perpetration of crimes like these. We also demand that the authorities immediately investigate and suspend the operation of places substituting for RTL camps such as the Heilongjiang Agribusiness Reclamation Office’s Legal Education Base and pursue the legal responsibility of those involved in these illegal and criminal activities.

Statement drafters:
Jiang Tianyong
Tang Jitian
Wang Cheng
Zhang Junjie

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