Jiang Tianyong (江天勇), a Beijing-based lawyer, told Human Rights in China (HRIC) that on February 16 he was detained and beaten by police inside a police station. According to Jiang, around 3:00 p.m. he was taken to the Yangfangdian police substation in Haidian District immediately after he and a group of lawyers, journalists, and rights defenders gathered for a lunch meeting to discuss how they may help Chen Guangcheng (陈光诚). Chen, the Shandong-based blind lawyer, has been under house arrest since his release from prison in September 2010. Last week, following the online release of a video in which Chen and his wife, Yuan Weijing (袁伟静), detailed the abuses they have suffered under house arrest, the couple was reportedly severely beaten by police.
On the recent police beatings of lawyers, which now include himself, Jiang said, “This barbaric behavior isn’t just happening in remote places like Dongshigu Village in Linyi, Shandong Province [the home town of Chen Guangcheng], but in Beijing, the nation’s capital and supposedly the best-governed area. Here the police are acting like bandits, and there is simply no guarantee of personal safety whatsoever for citizens.”
Jiang recounted to HRIC the following sequence of events at the police station: During his interrogation, a police officer named Lu Yonghui (陆永辉) picked him up by his neck and smashed him against the wall, shouting, “You just wait.” The deputy head of the police station, Zheng Minghao (郑明浩), watched and did nothing about the beating and told Jiang that until February 19, Jiang would not be allowed to leave his home without permission, and that Jiang would be followed whenever he left home. Jiang attempted to file a complaint at the police station about the beating but was ignored. Upon his release around 8:00 p.m., a police officer named Miao Yu (苗宇) told him, “This is our official answer: we will not let you file any case that involves the police.”
According to Jiang, another lawyer who attended the February 16 lunch meeting, Tang Jitian (唐吉田), was later taken by the police from his home. In addition, police went into the home of someone who was keeping videotaped records of the lunch meeting and confiscated those tapes.
Another lawyer, Liang Xiaojun (梁小军), told HRIC that many people, including Xu Zhiyong (许志永) and Li Xiongbing (黎雄兵), did not even make it to the lunch meeting because they were barred from leaving their homes. Press reports also identified lawyer Li Heping (李和平), rights defenders Wang Lihong (王荔蕻), Mo Zhixu (莫之许), Chen Tianshi (陈天石), and blogger Liu Di (刘荻) as among those prevented from attending.
“The police brutality against and harassment of citizens who are engaged in peaceful and lawful activities are an outrage,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC. “We urge that the authorities conduct an open investigation into the beatings and make genuine efforts to eradicate this kind of unlawful behavior among the police.”
For more information on Jiang Tianyong, see:
For more information on Chen Guangcheng, see: