Chinese court says human rights defender Xie Yang admits to crimes

May 8, 2017

This photo taken on April 25, 2017 shows supporters of lawyer Xie Yang outside the Intermediate People's Court in Changsha, in China's Hunan province

A Chinese human rights lawyer Xie Yang admitted to getting “brainwashed” overseas at the opening of his trial on Monday, the court said. Xie Yang, who had worked on numerous cases considered politically sensitive by China’s ruling Communist Party, was among hundreds of legal staff and activists detained in a crackdown in the summer of 2015.  [see also: and]. The Changsha Intermediate People’s Court announced the trial’s start on its account in a microblogging website, saying that Xie was charged with “inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order.

The court transcript said Xie did not object to the charges and admitted that he had received “training” in Hong Kong and South Korea. When the judge asked him what kind of training, the court said he answered: “The brainwashing of Western constitutional thoughts” in order to “overthrow the existing system and develop Western constitutionalism in China.”

Xie was also asked if he had been tortured, to which he told the court, “No”, but Xie previously claimed police used “sleep deprivation, long interrogations, beatings, death threats, humiliations” on him.  “Xie made a series of sworn testimonies to his family-appointed lawyer that police and prosecutors tortured him to force him to confess, which he said he did to make the pain stop,Frances Eve, researcher for the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders told AFP.

On April 25, dozens of supporters and at least seven diplomats had gathered at the Changsha court in central Hunan province — a long way from Beijing and Shanghai — only to be told the trial was indefinitely postponed. Since they received no confirmation of the new trial date, diplomatic sources told AFP they were not prepared to head to Changsha again to observe the trial. Local activists said in social media posts that they were “warned” on Sunday not to go to Changsha, without providing details about the warnings. Xie’s former attorney, Chen Jiangang, was detained by authorities last week while he was vacationing with his family, sparking condemnation from the United Nations’ human rights office. A UN statement on Friday said the move was part of a “continuing pattern of harassment of lawyers, through continued detention, without full due process”.

Chen had remained vocal on Xie’s case, drawing attention to his former client’s allegations of torture, even after the Changsha court denied Xie his pick of defence and provided a court-appointed lawyer instead. After he was detained in the remote southwestern province of Yunnan on Wednesday, Chen told AFP he was forced to drive back to Beijing escorted by police officers.

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Source: Chinese court says prominent rights lawyer admits to crimes | Daily Mail Online

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