UN human rights experts expressed concern [press release] Friday over the diminishing health of Jiang Tianyong, a prominent human rights lawyer jailed in China for inciting subversion of state power.
Jaing’s health has dramatically deteriorated in recent months, and the experts believe that he suffers from severe memory loss and that he may have been drugged.
“This raises fears of torture or ill-treatment in detention, without access to adequate medical care.” The experts urged that Jiang be given urgent medical attention and that a full report on his health status be provided to his family.
Jiang provided legal defense for human rights lawyers arrested in an unprecedented crackdown by the Chinese government. He subsequently disappeared on November 21, 2016, and held in a secret detention. He was found guilty on the incitement charge and sentenced to two years in jail. The experts condemned the verdict and believe his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture.
The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, who met with Jiang during his visit to China in August 2016, has also expressed concern [press release] that his enforced disappearance may have occurred, at least in part, in reprisal for his cooperation with the UN during his visit to China.
Alston noted that others he visited in China have been subject to harassment and retaliation. “The international standards are clear: States must refrain from and protect all persons from acts of reprisal.”