Wives of detained lawyers appeal to Trump to press China on rights




  • In World
  • 2017-05-19 00:00:30Z
  • By By David Brunnstrom

By David Brunnstrom

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wives of human rights lawyers detained by China in a sweeping crackdown two years ago appealed in the U.S. Congress on Thursday for President Donald Trump to press Beijing to free activists and end torture.

The wives of Taiwanese national Lee Ming-che and mainland lawyers Tang Jingling, Jiang Tianyong and Xie Yang issued their appeals directly at a U.S. House of Representatives hearing, while the wives of two other detained lawyers, Wang Quanzhang and Li Heping, delivered their appeals via a video.

The chairman of the human rights subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Chris Smith, said the panel would make an immediate request for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to meet with the women.

Critics have accused Trump of softening the U.S. approach to China, including on rights, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in April, in an effort to secure more Chinese support to reigning in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Smith stressed the need for Trump to take a tough line with Beijing and told the women: "He needs to look you in the eyes so that when he looks Xi Jinping in the eyes, he has your husbands' and your interests right there, front and center."

In testimony to the hearing, Jin Bianling said her husband, Jiang Tianyong, a disbarred lawyer who spoke out against a government crackdown on dozens of rights activists in 2015, had been prevented from seeing a lawyer for nearly six months.

She said she got news on May 12 that he had been tortured and his legs were too swollen to allow him to walk.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese police released a video of Jiang to refute allegations he had been tortured.

The video, which police said was taken on Wednesday, showed Jiang walking up and down a corridor of what appeared to be an apartment building in shorts and sandals.

Jin told Reuters she was very suspicious of the video, saying it was a set-up.

"If they want to prove that he has not been tortured, they should let his lawyers visit and fully examine him," she said. "As it is, we still don't even know where he is."

Li Heping returned to his home this month after being held for nearly two years, his former lawyer said. His wife, Wang Qiaoling, said he had been ill-treated and looked 20 years older after his detention.

China rejects criticism of its rights record. It has accused Jiang of colluding with the wife of another detained lawyer, Xie Yang, to fabricate accounts of torture.

Xie Yang's wife, Chen Guiqiu, who fled to the United States in March, said he had been forced to admit his guilt at a court hearing this month. She said he was bailed out after the session "but still had not regained his freedom" as he was followed everywhere by security agents.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)

COMMENTS

More Related News

US bans travel for Americans to NKorea after Warmbier death
US bans travel for Americans to NKorea after Warmbier death
  • World
  • 2017-07-21 20:37:15Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - American citizens will be barred by the U.S. from traveling to North Korea beginning next month following a prohibition on using U.S. passports to enter the country, the State Department said Friday.

Layoffs begin at Carrier plant that drew Trump
Layoffs begin at Carrier plant that drew Trump's criticism

More than 300 Carrier Corp. workers were being laid off Thursday from the company's Indianapolis factory as part of an outsourcing of jobs to Mexico that drew criticism last year from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. The nearly 340 workers clocked out after their final shifts at Carrier's gas furnace factory. Carrier announced in February 2016 that it would close the Indianapolis plant and cut about 1,400 production jobs in a move expected to save $65 million annually by moving furnace production to Mexico.

Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions
Mueller Expands Probe to Trump Business Transactions

The U.S. special counsel investigating possible ties between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia in last year's election is examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump's businesses as well ...

Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify next week before Senate panel
Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort to testify next week before Senate panel

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort will testify on July 26 before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the panel said in a statement on Wednesday. Trump Jr. and Manafort are expected to be questioned about

Justices allow strict refugee ban but say grandparents OK
Justices allow strict refugee ban but say grandparents OK

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court says the Trump administration can strictly enforce its ban on refugees, but at the same time is leaving in place a weakened travel ban that includes grandparents among relatives who can help visitors from six mostly Muslim countries get into the U.S.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: World

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.