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Beijing Rights Lawyer Suffers Memory Loss After Ten-Day Detention

Posted by Author on May 1, 2011

A Beijing human rights attorney who had been missing for ten days, was released by authorities from a mental hospital in an extremely weak physical and mental state. He couldn’t walk, had pain all over, and couldn’t fully remember what had happened to him.

What Jin Guanghong, a Beijing rights lawyer, could recall after his ten-day ordeal, was that on April 8 or 9, while walking on the street, he was abducted and taken to a detention center, and later a mental hospital. He said he was beaten and vaguely remembers being tied to a bed and given injections and medicine. He then held a hunger strike but was fed through a tube in his nose, according to an April 22 report by China Rights Defense Alliance.
On April 19 a Beijing mental hospital released Mr Jin to his brother and three teachers from Xiamen University who took him to his home in Hubei Province, the report said.

When he first returned home, Jin had pain all over his body. He couldn’t get up from bed and was only able to take in liquids. A few days later, though he was able to get up, he had to quickly lie down again as he felt exhausted from moving about just a little bit.

According to an April 24 article on Clearwisdom, a Falun Gong related website, Mr Jin worked for the Beijing Jing Fa Law Firm. In March he acted as the defense attorney for Li Tie, a human rights activist in Wuhan City, Hubei Province. At the beginning of April, he was going to work on the case of some Falun Gong practitioners in Luoyang City, Henan Province.

Jin was seen on QQ, a Chinese Internet instant messenger, on April 8. His log-in location was displayed as Luoyang City. After that, he wasn’t seen on the Internet, and his cell phone also went off line, the Clearwisdom report said.

Worst Time for Rights Attorneys

A person familiar with Jin’s and other human rights lawyers’ situations in the country, spoke to The Epoch Times on condition of anonymity. He said he believes the authorities did something to Jin that caused him to lose his memory. He also said he thought Jin was only released from the mental hospital because his condition had become extremely critical from being on a hunger strike.

This insider said that human rights lawyers in China are being seriously persecuted by the authorities, and that this is the worst time for these attorneys’ safety.

He cited a group of human rights lawyers, including Teng Biao, Tang Jitian, Tang Jingling, Jiang Tianyong, and Li Tiantian, that have gone missing in February, with authorities having given no explanation at all. Later, human rights lawyers Jin Guanghong and Liu Xiaoyuan also went missing, he said.

After being arrested, some human rights lawyers have been tortured and threatened by the authorities into pleading guilty. One lawyer told him that authorities warn the arrested lawyers not to reveal their situation to anyone, or they won’t be released if they are arrested again.

This insider had some advice for human rights lawyers in China. He said when police or Domestic Security police summon them for an unlawful “chat,” they should promptly tell the police that they will file a lawsuit against them, as this would restrain the police from taking the law into their own hands.

He also suggested that under the present circumstances, it would be safer for human rights lawyers to form teams of two when handling cases, so that they can take care of each other should they encounter this type of interference from authorities.

Using Drugs on Rights Defenders

The China Rights Defense Alliance article said that many human rights lawyers and rights activists who were disappeared by authorities were subjected to severe torture, and some were given drugs to cause them to lose memory of their experiences during detention.

Mr Xie, a Beijing lawyer said this is a serious violation of human rights and of the law. “The police often treats petitioners and rights activists like mental patients and forces them to undergo medical treatment. This makes people lose their sense of security and will have serious consequences,” he told The Epoch Times.

Some details of the case of Guangzhou lawyer Tang Jingling, who was detained in February, was disclosed on Twitter. After his release, Tang allegedly also suffered from memory loss. He could not recognize people and seemed in a daze. Authorities kept him under residential surveillance for some time, but now both he and his wife have gone missing, the Twitter report said.

Detentions Politically Motivated

In an April 23 press release, New York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that since February 16, 2011, at least 39 lawyers, civil society activists, and bloggers have been criminally detained by state authorities while at least 18 others have been the victims of enforced disappearance. Between 100 and 200 other people have been subjected to an array of repressive measures ranging from police summonses to house arrest. The government has also tightened internet censorship, forced several liberal newspaper editors to step down, and imposed new restrictions on foreign media reporting in Beijing.

Enforced disappearances raise the risk of torture and ill-treatment of those targeted. Individuals who have been victims of enforced disappearances since mid-February 2011 include six of the country’s most prominent human rights lawyers: Teng Biao, Tang Jitian, Liu Shihui, Tang Jingling, Li Tiantian, and Jiang Tianyong. Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer, has been missing for most of the past two years and has given several detailed accounts of torture at the hands of the police, the HRW report said.

Since mid-March, the Chinese government has also detained or arrested numerous high profile activists including the artist Ai Weiwei, the disabled housing rights activist Ni Yulan, and prominent civil society advocates Ran Yunfei, Ding Mao, and Chen Wei. The allegations against these activists, which range from “economic crimes” and “creating a disturbance” to “inciting subversion of state power,” appear to be politically-motivated moves to stifle dissent, HRW said.

The Epochtimes

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