03/06/2017, 16.48
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“In the event I lose my freedom,” says Chinese lawyer

by Chen Jiangang

Chen Jiangang, a lawyer representing human rights lawyers jailed by the Chinese authorities, expressed his sadness and attachment to life. In a written statement, he anticipates possible torture and false confessions to which prisoners are subjected.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) is one of two defence lawyers representing Yang Xie ( ), a human rights Chinese lawyer convicted by Chinese authorities on subversion charges.

Stories about the degrading conditions and physical and psychological torture to which he and other lawyers are subjected have emerged recently. In addition to torture, they have been forced to "confess" their sins and reveal the names of other people involved in their "subversive" projects. Confessions are often videotaped and broadcast on the Internet or TV.

The Global Times, a newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party, has denied the use of torture and violence against "subversives" to extract information. However, AsiaNews has already reported on what has happened to lawyers Wang Quanzhang (王全璋) and Li Chunfu (李春富).

Meanwhile, NGOs and the victims’ families and friends have addressed appeals to the main international human rights organisations.

Fearful that he might suffer the same fate as his colleagues, Chen Jiangang issued a statement two days ago that was published by China Change.

I cherish life. I want to live to see the universal values of democracy, liberty, rule of law, and human rights realized in China. I want to see a constitutional system of government established in China. If these things don’t happen, I’ll die without peace. I cherish my family. I want to see my children grow and live in freedom and health. For all these reasons, I will not kill myself. If something unexpected happens to me, please know that it will absolutely not be because I committed suicide.

I have committed no crime. I will never, of my own volition, assent to any illegal interrogation, and nor will I level false charges against or attempt to frame anyone. Any written, oral, or video confession, self-degradation, or accusation against other people will only have been made under the circumstances that I have been deprived of liberty, am under duress, or am being tortured and threatened. Those are the only circumstances under which I could be forced to say such things, and none of them will be true.

I’m simply a man of flesh and blood. If I’m put to the agonies of torture, I cannot guarantee that I will not submit. Through my years of work as a defense lawyer, I have learned of many cases of torture in China and the unspeakable cruelty involved. If I am tortured and made to submit, everything I say will be made up. None of it can be taken as evidence toward the accusation, conviction, or defamation of any person.

If I lose my freedom and end up on television revealing the name of any of my friends, please forgive me. Those won’t be my own words or my will. By that stage I will have been turned into nothing but a prop. Please forgive me.

I take complete responsibility for every character in the two transcripts I made of the meetings with Xie Yang (谢阳), as well as for any other transcripts that have not yet been made public. As for the groundless lies made by the shameless state media that the transcripts describing torture were fabricated, I have already thoroughly rebutted them in my essay “How Xie Yang's Transcripts of Torture Came to Light.”

My children, your father loves you.*

Chen Jiangang



*Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) has two children, six and two years old - Translator's note 

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