Xie Yang and the incessant harassment of Chinese human rights lawyers
By Javier Triana
Beijing, Sep 23 (efe-epa).- Lawyer Xie Yang is a paradigm despite himself: detained, imprisoned, tortured (according to him), sentenced, released, guarded. His fate is similar to that of so many lawyers handling human rights cases in China that the authorities consider sensitive.
Except for one thing: unlike his fellow guild members who have suffered a similar fate, after his release, Xie Yang was allowed to keep his activity license. Until last month.
“On Aug. 4, they called me to go to the Justice Department of (the central city of) Changsha with an excuse and two officials told me they were going to cancel my license,” the lawyer told EFE.
According to Xie, it is an illegal procedure, since it must be done by means of a written notice issued with sufficient time for the affected party to correct the problems that may have led to the cancellation.
The written notification reached him on Aug. 11, and it was not a notice, but the cancellation itself, which also overturned the verbal agreement Xi said he had with the Chinese authorities for more than three years: an extraordinary pact.
The torture to which Xie Yang claims to have been subjected – after being arrested during the raids known as “709” that Chinese authorities began on Jul. 9, 2015 against hundreds of lawyers and activists – during pre-trial detention went public through his lawyer in early 2017 and shook the rule of law.
Xie’s account sparked a reaction not only from international NGOs, but also from members of the international community, such as the European Union.
The state press denied it and accused foreign media of spreading “fake news,” while authorities in his province, central Hunan, rushed to wash his image.
Xie said that they made him an offer: a confession in which he denied the torture exposed in exchange for not being punished and being able to keep his license to continue practicing. He claims that he agreed.