China activist recounts police abuse in interviews with lawyers

January 20, 2017 16:40
Xie Yang (inset), who has been in custody in Changsha, has alleged that he was subjected to brutal punishment and interrogation. Photo:, baidu

A human rights lawyer who is under detention in China has provided a detailed account of the ordeal suffered by him, including the alleged beatings and other physical abuse that he faced from the police.

In interviews with his lawyers, the transcripts of which were made public this week, activist Xie Yang recounted how he was tortured by the Hunan public safety police and stripped of his basic rights, Apple Daily reports.

Among various things, Xie told the lawyers that he was deprived of sleep as authorities sought to break him.

Other punishment tactics included buckling him up to a chair for hours, hitting and choking him, smoking his eyes and nose, and even preventing him from eating.

According to the transcripts that were made public by his lawyers, Xie said he was taken away early in the morning on July 11, 2015 and was chained to a chair without anyone explaining the reason why he was taken into custody.

It was only the next morning that he was told that he was charged with subversive activities. He has been in jail since, awaiting trial for the alleged crime of "incitement to subvert".

Lawyers conducted recorded interviews with Xie on Jan. 4 this year, following which transcripts running into more than 10,000 words were posted online on Thursday.

In the interviews, Xie reveals that the mainland police had questioned him as to whether he had joined an "anti-communist and anti-socialist illegal group".

The police then started interrogating him on his previous human rights cases. Xie was accused of being dishonest and was deprived of sleep for over 30 hours at one time.

During the detention, the police had him sitting on a high chair with his back straight, telling him that if he moved even an inch, he will be charged with attacking them.

Xie alleged that was beaten and punched repeatedly even for turning his head. He sat on that chair without water or food for 20 hours one time.

Whenever the interrogators saw that Xie was sleepy, they would punch him and hit him in his stomach. They would cause great pain without leaving any external injury marks.

One of the officers even taunted him, telling him that he enjoyed torturing him repeatedly every night, knowing that Xie was going to leave the place in a broken mental and physical state.

Xie was among hundreds of lawyers and activists who were arrested or questioned by Chinese authorities in a massive crackdown against civil rights activists that began on July 9, 2015.

The abuses suffered by him at the hands of the police were similar to that faced by another Chinese lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, during his detention in Beijing, rights activists say.

The revelations have prompted some observers to worry that under President Xi Jinping's iron-fist rule, law enforcement in China has become completely inhumane, Apple Daily noted.

After hearing about the ordeal of Xie Yang, the wife of another human rights lawyer could not help but worry about her husband Jiang Tianyong's situation in one of those "observation houses" reported.

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