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Wife of Rights Activist Jiang Yefei Calls on Canadian Government, UN, and International Human Rights Organizations to Help Her Husband

September 18, 2018

In her appeal below, Chu Ling (楚玲), the wife of the imprisoned political cartoonist and rights activist Jiang Yefei (姜野飞), urges the Canadian government, the United Nations, and international human rights organizations to intervene in her husband’s case. Chu calls on them to pressure the Chinese government to release Jiang, and, while he’s being held, to ensure that he has the right to communicate and meet with his family members and lawyers and that he will be safe from any further torture.

Chu believes that Jiang’s ordeal is the result of his criticism of the government, and his cartoons critical of President Xi Jinping.

On November 13, 2015, Jiang was taken from an immigration detention center in Thailand—where he had been granted refugee status by the United Nations and was waiting to resettle in Canada—and repatriated to China. His family heard nothing about Jiang until July 2018, when a state-controlled press outlet reported that a court in Chongqing had sentenced Jiang to six-and-a-half years in prison for  “subversion of state power” and “illegally crossing a national border.” It was then that the family learned that Jiang had in fact been tried a year earlier, in July 2017. Chu states that Jiang was tortured, resulting in permanent damage to one of his eyes.

An Appeal by Chu Ling, wife of Rights Activist Jiang Yefei
to the Canadian Government, the United Nations, and International Human Rights Organizations for Help in Jiang’s Case

September 17, 2018

[Translation by Human Rights in China]

Dear HRIC, Amnesty International, Canadian government, and United Nations,

I am the wife of Jiang Yefei (姜野飞).  On November 13, 2015, my husband was taken from an immigration detention center in Thailand and repatriated to China on fabricated charges. In Thailand, previous to his refoulement, he had received refugee status from the United Nations, and permission from the Canadian government to  resettle in Canada. In Jiang's case, the government of the Communist Party of China has willfully trampled on international refugee conventions [the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees to which China is a state party]. Its thug-like behavior has been shocking to the people of the world, as has the subsequent smear campaign with which it attempted to stifle unanimous international condemnation. I believe that Jiang’s case embodies the many heinous acts—including torture and televised confessions—perpetrated by the CPC government that the Canadian government, Amnesty International, and the United Nations have seen in many human rights cases.  One of Jiang’s eyes has been permanently damaged; he was forced to accept a lawyer assigned by the authorities; his family members were denied the right to attend his trial; and he has been barred from having any communication with the outside world.

All of this has been due to Jiang’s criticisms of the CPC government, and his cartoons attacking President Xi Jinping. In the CPC-led China, attacking the country's leaders is an extremely dangerous and courageous act. In Jiang’s case, the Chinese authorities used their formidable power to collude with Thailand, first concocting criminal charges to lock him up in immigration detention, then forcing him to sign a confession, and then repatriating him on a private jet, and making him deplane with a black hood over his head. Although these abuses might simply be hard to imagine for the democratic, liberal countries and human rights organizations in the West, all this actually happened before my eyes. We have exhausted all of our strength to battle the state apparatus, and have ultimately failed. My heart shattered when I saw his confession on television. Jiang's fellow rights defenders are all devastated by this international human rights incident, and lament the overwhelming power of the CPC state.

This human rights case has to do with Xi Jinping's personal vengeance, and therefore, and thus Jiang’s personal safety is not in our control. This reminds me of the sustained revenge that Deng Xiaoping inflicted on Wei Jingsheng because of Wei’s big-character-posters (dazibao) on the Democracy Wall, and on Cao Changqing because of Cao’s articles calling for Deng's retirement. In every age, there are the brave ones who stand up to oppose dictators, hoping that the dictators will change course. In the times of Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin, the justice system—the police, the procuratorate, and the court—was lenient and humane. But Xi Jinping's era is a vastly different era, of intensified oppression of different voices who suffer more cruel and direct consequences. For the sake of preserving Jiang's life and out of fear of further mad revenge and torture being inflicted upon him, Jiang's family and I were forced to remain silent. But our silence was not able to change the evil ways of the CPC government.

On July 26, 2017, the Chongqing No.1 Intermediate People's Court tried Jiang. A year later, on July 13, 2018, that court sentenced him to six-and-a-half-years' imprisonment and two years of post-release deprivation of political rights on conviction of “subversion of state power” and “illegally crossing a national border.” In addition, Jiang was fined 1,000 yuan. The authorities did not inform his family of either the trial or the sentence. A newspaper article was where the family found out about Jiang’s prosecution. But the article was filled with lies, claiming that more than forty people attended Jiang’s public trial. But throughout this time, Jiang's family had never stopped asking when the trial would take place and requesting to attend the trial. And all this time, we were told that the case was waiting for "orders from above." Why did they lie? Is Jiang Yefei still alive? What has he suffered through?

Jiang Yefei's family and I sincerely appeal to Amnesty International, the Canadian government, and the United Nations to intervene in Jiang's case, and to not let up pressure in calling upon the Chinese government to release Jiang Yefei and grant him medical parole, provide him passage to freedom, and ensure his rights of communication and meeting during his incarceration and his safety from any further torture. Using another detainee's pursuit of appeal as an excuse for denying family and friends' visits with Jiang, the CPC has continued to block all his communication with the outside world and has kept him in the detention center. This is unlawful and intentional deprivation of his rights.

I urge Amnesty International, the Canadian governemnt, and the United Nations to please pay attention to this case of a government's trampling on human rights and help us. I am very grateful for the continuous assistance and protection you have given us.

Thank you.

Chu Ling