Smith calls for action on torture of Chinese human rights lawyersSix Wives, One Voice
In emotional testimony before a congressional committee today, several wives of jailed and tortured human rights lawyers appealed to the Trump Administration and congress to use its voice and all relevant U.S. laws, including the recently enacted Global Magnitsky Act, to stop the Chinese Government’s torture of their husbands.
Chen Guiqiu, wife of detained lawyer Xie Yang, said “Due to his work defending human rights, he was jailed and brutally tortured,” including, “beatings delivered in rotation by a roster of guards, exhaustive interrogation for over 20 hours, having cigarette smoke blown in his face and ears, starvation, dehydration… Xie Yang’s court session was held on May 8, 2017. Xie Yang was forced to admit his guilt and deny the torture he suffered in the detention center.” Click Here to read Chen’s full statement.
According to Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), chair of the human rights panel that hosted the hearing, an estimated 250 human rights lawyers have been detained since July 2015, in a massive crackdown designed to silence dissent in China—known as the 7-09 crackdown.
“The systematic torture of human rights lawyers by the Chinese government is inhumane and barbaric,” Smith said. “These are some of China’s bravest, best and brightest—now with broken bodies, shattered minds and faces that have aged 20 years after two years of solitary confinement and torture."
“While Chinese President Xi Jinping is feted at Davos and lauded in foreign capitals for his public commitment to openness, his government is torturing and abusing those seeking rights guaranteed by China’s own Constitution and its international obligations,” Smith said.
Smith also said, “The Global Magnitsky Act empowers the President and State Department to compile lists of torturers and other violators of human rights and make perpetrators of those crimes inadmissible to the United States—visa denial—and bar them from our financial system,” he added. Click Here to read Smith’s full statement.
Lee Chin-yu, the spouse of Lee Min-che, said the 7-09 crackdown exposes the unique brutality of the Chinese regime, “China's position towards human rights and the rule of law is drastically different from that of Taiwan and other civilized democratic countries.” Click Here to read Li’s full statement.
Wang Yanfeng, the spouse of Tang Jingling, said her husband “was threatened and tortured…for 10 days in a row…trembling all over, numbness in both hands and heart discomfort.” Click Here to read Wang’s full statement.
Jin Bainling, the spouse of Jiang Tianyong also testified, she noted that her husband testified at a hearing Smith chaired in 2009. After attempting to meet with President Obama, he was arrested just hours after the President left Beijing. Since November 2016, he has been enforcably disappeared. Click Here to read Jin’s full statement.