Chinese prosecutor dismisses rumors of imprisoned lawyer being tortured
2017-03-02 15:37:19 GMT+8
Local prosecutors in south China’s Hunan Province have dismissed reports that a Chinese lawyer, Xie Yang, was “tortured in detention,” denouncing them as untrue in a state media investigation that revealed that previous claims were based on fabricated information.
44-year-old Xie was detained in July 2015 on charges of subversion and disrupting court proceedings. Reports of him “suffering after being beaten and having sleep deprivation” began to surface outside China last October, alleging that Xie was beaten up so badly during custody by security forces that “he had to call in medics himself.”
"I'm in good health. I exercise most of the time," Xie said, clarifying the alleged mistreatment during an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) reporters last Monday, adding that he had called the ambulance because his body “was trembling for no reason.”
“I'm usually in good shape. So when the trembling happened, I panicked," Xie told CCTV.
"Our investigation confirms that the reported torture did not happen," Yang Zhongping, a prosecutor with Hunan Provincial People’s Procuratorate (HPPP), told the CCTV reporter.
According to the CCTV investigation, the HPPP set up an independent investigatory team on January 13 to look into the torture reports before coming into the conclusion.
Xie said that he has been well looked after in the detention center.
A screenshot of the CCTV investigation aired on CCTV-4 shows that Xie said he can sleep about nine hours a day in detention. Photo/CCTV
The television investigation revealed that the international media outlets that reported on the “torture” were fed with “made-up facts” by another lawyer, Jiang Tianyong, who tried to seek public attention in an attempt to influence Xie’s case.
"Let me put this straight. I made up those reports. I'm the source of the rumor," Jiang came forward.
According to local investigators, 46-year-old Jiang was a lawyer based in Beijing and was caught using a fake ID to buy rail tickets in November. Jiang told reporters that he approached Xie's wife and told her to fabricate her husband’s torture stories.
"I got all the details from all kinds of online materials. All in all, we cannot say the torture is non-existent in the world. People know this kind of stories. I made up the stories bit by bit, and publicized them as if they were Xie Yang's experience," Jiang admitted.
"If I appear often on media, especially foreign media, it would be easier for the institutes abroad to know me. If foreign institutes want to get something done, they would be more likely to approach me," Jiang added during the CCTV investigation.
Xie remains behind bars and Jiang has also been arrested.