Authorities in northern China’s Shaanxi province formally arrested human rights lawyer Chang Weiping on suspicion of “overthrowing the state power,” his wife said. Monday.
Chang is currently being held at the Fengxian Detention Center in Baoji City of Shaanxi. The charges against him appear to have been changed from “inciting to overthrow state power”, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, to a more serious crime of “subversion of state power”. There is no upper limit on incarceration. judge.
He has been reinstated in October 2020 after he spoke out about being tortured following a previous detention involving a gathering dinner of human rights lawyers, dissidents and human rights activists in the city the port is located in the southeastern Xiamen December 2019.
Chang Weiping’s wife Chen Zijuan said she had received the notice of the official arrest from the Baoji City Police Station,
Chen issued a statement saying that her husband did not commit any crimes, “let’s overthrow the state power.”
She called his continuing detention an abuse of police power and demanded that Chang be released immediately.
There is no legal basis
According to Chen, the police have no legal basis to detain Chang, and are currently detaining him in a detention center in a mountainous area with little traffic links.
“This is a complete abuse of power and a form of retaliation,” Chen said. “I am extremely angry at the recklessness of the local judiciary and ask them to correct their mistakes.”
Xie Yang, a human rights lawyer from Hunan Province, said Chen’s statement highlighted irregularities in the way Chang was arrested and in the process of handling his case.
“Those [political] cases that are different from regular criminal cases, are often still within the framework of criminal law, “Xie told RFA.
“But in that case [alleged] “Overthrowing state power, there are very few legal protections,” he said. Common law doesn’t apply, and they can do whatever they want. ”
Meanwhile, the wife of Chinese human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was jailed for three years in prison for “inciting subversion of state power”, said he was beaten by a group of people while serving. sentence in Nanjing prison. .
Xu Yan, who had a video call with Yu last month, said the online “visit” was the first time she heard of the incident.
Mr. Xu told RFA radio: “When he first arrived at the Nanjing Prison, he was beaten and kicked by a group of people. “He was very confused at that time [about what had actually happened]. “
“I have asked the authorities at the Nanjing prison to take responsibility for the leaders of the relevant departments and investigate whether someone instructed them to attack him, and also to be held accountable. to them, “she said.
Family members have long suspected that Yu Wensheng was tortured and mistreated while in custody, as he only used his right hand limitedly and was unable to write, brush his teeth or harvest crops. as part of prison labor.
He was recently taken to the hospital to take medical care of his hands.
“He was examined by an orthopedist and neurosurgeon, then given medication to treat hand injuries and nerve damage,” Xu said.
“Initially it was only on his right hand side, but a more serious incident took place over March 15and now his left handle also starts to vibrate. “
Xu said that the Nanjing Prison used to arrange family visits every two months, but face-to-face visits were suspended due to COVID-19.
She urged prison administrators to reinstate face-to-face visits, once a month, in accordance with Chinese law.
Earlier this year, Yu reached the final round of the Martin Ennals Award honoring human rights defenders.
Martin Ennals called him “one of the most famous and brave human rights activists” in China, admitting that Yu had been arbitrarily detained, a secret trial and stripped of his license to practice. lawyer.
Gao Feng Report for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.