Published: 24 November 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon
Jiang Tianyong was a prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer who took on politically sensitive cases before being disbarred to practice law in 2009. He then became a legal activist advising dissidents and activists and publicizing the plight of lawyers detained in China. Jiang was detained on 21 November 2016. In March 2017, he apparently gave an interview to a State newspaper and was shown on state TV saying that he had made up a story about a lawyer, Xie Yang, being tortured in custody. On 22 August 2017, he was put on trial in a local court in Hunan province on charges of incitement to subversion of State power.
On 25 August 2017, the German ambassador to China made the following statement on the trial of Jiang Tianyoung:
“We are closely following the trial of Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, the hearings of which took place in Changsha this week. For years, Jiang Tianyong has campaigned with great commitment for human rights and the rule of law in China, including the lawyers and activists affected by the so-called ‘709 crackdown’.
We are concerned that throughout the proceedings Jiang Tianyong has not been allowed access to the lawyers of his own choosing and that he was obviously prejudged before his trial had even begun by means of a ‘confession’ aired by Chinese media. Under these circumstances, a fair trial is impossible. We call on the Chinese institutions to ensure proceedings are conducted with due process and in adherence with relevant United Nations conventions, and to enforce the stated objective of the Chinese leadership of strengthening the rule of law.
Ever since his arrest in November 2016, the Federal Government has raised Jiang Tianyong’s case in high-level meetings with Chinese officials. Germany will continue to take an active interest in his fate.”