CIVIL RIGHTS
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Human rights in China

Wife of Chinese rights lawyer fears for missing husband

Jiang Tianyong disappeared after trying to visit an advocate in detention in Hunan province

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 November, 2016, 4:09pm
UPDATED : Friday, 25 November, 2016, 12:10am

The wife of prominent rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong expressed grave fears for her husband on Thursday, several days after he disappeared on his way from Changsha in Hunan province to Beijing.

Jin Bianling, Jiang’s wife, who fled to the United States with the couple’s daughter in 2013, said her husband vanished after visiting Chen Guiqiu, the wife of lawyer Xie Yang, who was detained in a crackdown on rights advocates last year.

“Three days ago, my husband Jiang Tianyong suddenly disappeared and remained unreachable. He has been subjected to repeated cruel torture, detention and often disappeared but none of these could drive him away from his work as a human rights lawyer in China,” Jin said in an online statement.

Jiang had also reportedly tried and failed to visit Xie at a Changsha detention centre with two of Xie’s lawyers.

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“On Monday night at around 10pm, Jiang told me he had already bought a train ticket to Beijing, but I couldn’t reach him after that,” Jin said yesterday.

“We tried to file a police report in Changsha but the local police office told us to file one with police in Beijing.

A person can’t just vanish into thin air ... What worries me the most is his health and his personal safety
Jin Bianling, wife of missing lawyer Jiang Tianyong

“A person can’t just vanish into thin air ... What worries me the most is his health and his personal safety.”

Jin said her husband disappeared for two months in 2011 during the so-called Chinese jasmine revolution, a democratic movement that was soon quashed by the authorities.

“He returned home having lost nearly 20 pounds and suffered from severe memory loss,” Jin said on Thursday.

Four rights lawyers detained after questioning Falun Gong detentions

Jin said she was forced to leave the country with their daughter after national security personnel trailed them wherever they went and guarded their home around the clock.

“After leaving the country, Jiang did not maintain a fixed residence as he sleeps over at different friends’ homes to avoid contact with security agents,” she said.

Jiang did not maintain a fixed residence as he sleeps over at different friends’ homes to avoid contact with security agents
Jin Bianling, wife of missing lawyer Jiang Tianyong

Amnesty International Hong Kong also expressed concerns about Jiang’s welfare.

Jiang was detained for 15 days in 2014 with Tang Jitian and two other lawyers investigating the ­illegal detention of several Falun Gong members in Heilongjiang province.