Joint statement on the trials of Ding Jiaxi & Xu Zhiyong
In a joint statement, Lawyers for Lawyers, Human Rights Now, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, The Rights Practice and The 29 Principles express their concern about the recent trials of human rights lawyer Ding Jiaxi and legal scholar and lawyer Dr. Xu Zhiyong. On 22 June 2022 and 24 June 2022 respectively, Dr. Xu and Mr. Ding were tried for charges of “subverting state power”. Dr. Xu and Mr. Ding have been held in pretrial detention for more than two years and have been subjected to torture and ill-treatment during their arbitrary detention.
Both trials have been held behind closed doors on the grounds that ‘they involved state secrets’, and even close relatives of the defendants were not allowed to attend the hearings. According to reliable sources, the lawyers defending Dr. Xu and Mr. Ding have been forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring them from sharing information about the trials, and Xu’s lawyers have been threatened with disbarment by the Chinese authorities if they ever spoke to the press about the case. At the time of writing, no official statement about the hearings or verdicts has been released.
Furthermore, both Dr. Xu and Mr. Ding have repeatedly alleged that the evidence and statements held against them had been obtained under torture or ill-treatment. This violates Art. 15 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which states that ‘any statement which is established to have been made as a result of torture shall not be invoked as evidence in any proceedings’. Mr. Ding, with the help of his wife Luo Shengchun, has filed official applications requesting for all evidence obtained under torture to be excluded. Unfortunately, these applications appear to have proved unsuccessful.
Lawyers for Lawyers, Human Rights Now, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, The Rights Practice and The 29 Principles call on the Chinese authorities to ensure that:
- All charges against Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong are dropped, and they are immediately and unconditionally released;
- an independent investigation is conducted in relation to the allegations of torture and other ill-treatment to which Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong were subjected in detention and punish the perpetrators in accordance with China’s own laws and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which China ratified in 1988;
- evidence obtained through torture is not invoked as evidence in legal proceedings;
- all forms of arbitrary detention, including RSDL are terminated;
- all human rights lawyers and human rights defenders are provided with their freedom ofexpression of political and other opinions in accordance with China’s internationalobligations to respect and fulfil human rights law and standards; and
- are able to assist their clients without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference and without threats of prosecution or administrative sanctions for any actions they take in accordance with internationally recognized professional duties, standards and ethics;
- the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers are respected, and that lawyers are able to assist their clients without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference and without threats of prosecution or administrative sanctions for any actions they take in accordance with internationally recognized professional duties, standards and ethics.
Meer nieuws uit China
Li Yuhan received a 6.5-Year verdict amid health struggles
On October 25, 2023, the Heping District Court in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, pronounced human rights lawyer Li Yuhan guilty of charges including “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” and “fraud.” She was subsequently sentenced to 6.5 years in prison. Affectionately referredLees verder
Six Years Since the Arrest of Li Yuhan
Today, 9 October 2023, marks the sixth anniversary of the arrest of Chinese human rights lawyer, Li Yuhan. She has been detained in Shenyang City, Liaoning since October 2017. Although her case was tried on 27 October 2021, there isLees verder
NGOs Call on Governments & Lao Authorities to Ensure the Immediate Release of Chinese Human Rights Lawyer Lu Siwei
Lao authorities have reportedly arrested and detained well-known Chinese human rights lawyer Lu Siwei since 28 July 2023. We are gravely concerned that he is at serious risk of forced repatriation to China where he faces the high likelihood ofLees verder