Urgent Interventions

Incommunicado detention of human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong

CHN 001 / 0117 / OBS 002

Enforceddisappearance /

Arbitraryand incommunicado detention /



January 9,2017

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of theWorld Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgentintervention in the following situation in China.

Descriptionof the situation:

TheObservatory has been informed by reliable sources about the incommunicadodetention of human rights lawyer JiangTianyong, a leader of the China Human Rights Lawyers Group[1]and an outspoken supporter of detained rights lawyers from the “709Crackdown”[2].

Accordingto the information received, since he was taken into custody by public securityofficers on November 21, 2016, Chinese authorities have failed to disclose Mr.Jiang Tianyong’s whereabouts and have prevented his lawyers from having accessto him. Most recently, on December 29, 2016, Changsha Public Security Bureau rejected the requestof his defence lawyer to meet him.

On November21, 2016, Mr. Jiang Tianyong went missing as he was meant to board a train toBeijing from Changsha in Hunan Province, where he had met the wife and lawyersof Mr. Xie Yang, a “709 Crackdown”human rights lawyer currently detained at Changsha City Detention Centre[3].Mr. Jiang’s family members and lawyers immediately reported his disappearanceto the authorities. However, the police refused to file a missing person case.

On December 16, 2016, Chineseauthorities finally confirmed through media reports that Mr. Jiang Tianyong hadbeen taken into custody by public security officers, and given a nine-dayadministrative detention for “fraudulent use of another person’s ID”. They alsospecified that on December 1, 2016, he was placed under “compulsory criminalmeasures” for “illegally possessing documents classified as State secrets”(under Article 282 of Criminal Law) and “illegally disseminating State secretsto overseas [sources]” (Article 111) and other unnamed “crimes”. If convictedunder Article 111, Mr. Jiang faces life imprisonment.

OnDecember 23, 2016, Mr. Jiang’s family members received a notification from the Changsha City Public SecurityBureau, informing that he had been put under residentialsurveillance at an unknown “place designated by the police”, a form ofextrajudicial secret detention, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of Statepower” (Article 105 (2)). Under such circumstances, in the absence of accessto his lawyers, the Observatory fears that Mr. Jiang might be subjected totorture to force him to confess while being interrogated.

The Observatory strongly condemnsthe incommunicado detention of Mr. Jiang Tianyong, and urges the Chineseauthorities to immediately and unconditionally release him as his detentionappears to be only aimed at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory recalls that Mr.Jiang Tianyong’s licence was revoked in 2009 for defending or supporting manyhigh-profile human rights defenders. Since then, Mr. Jiang has taken an activerole in organizing Chinese human rights lawyers to provide legal counsel tovictims of rights abuses and criticized authorities’ abuses of legal rights.


Pleasewrite to the authorities of the People’s Republic of Chinaasking them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr.Jiang Tianyong, as well as that of all human rights defenders in the People’s Republic of China;

ii. Immediately disclose Mr.Jiang Tianyong’s whereabouts andrelease him immediately and unconditionally as his detention is arbitrary since itonly seems to aim at sanctioning his human rights activities;

iii. Guarantee his right to a fair trial,as protected under international law, including access to his lawyers;

iv. Put an end to all forms of harassment- including at the judicial level - against Mr. JiangTianyong and all humanrights defenders in the country so that they are able to carry out their workwithout hindrance;

v.Comply with all the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1998, inparticular with its Articles 1, 5(b), and 12.2;

vi.Guarantee the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordancewith the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and other international humanrights instruments signed or ratified by the People’sRepublic of China.


·Mr. Li Keqiang, Prime Ministerof the People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 659 611 09 (c/o Ministry ofForeign Affairs), Email:

· Mr. Guo Shengkun, Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republicof China, Fax: +86 10 63099216, Email:

· H.E. Mr. Zhaoxu Ma, Ambassador,Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations inGeneva, Switzerland, Fax: +41 22 793 70 14, E-mail:

· H.E. Mr. QU XING, Ambassador, Embassy of the People’s Republic of Chinain Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32-2-7792895; Email:

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of thePeople’s Republic of China in your respective country.


Geneva-Paris,January 9, 2017

Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in yourreply.

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) wascreated in 1997 by OMCT and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to preventor remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. OMCT andFIDH are both members of,the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

[1] The China Human Rights Lawyers Groupis a network of rights lawyers in China founded on September 13, 2013. In 2016,it had a membership of 315 lawyers.

[2] For more information, see the JointStatement issued on January 15, 2016.

[3] For more information, see