Jiansanjiang Protests Continue Despite Intensified Crackdowns
The detention of four human rights lawyers, Tang Jitian,
Jiang Tianyong, Zhang Junjie and Wang Cheng
is making many Chinese lawyers and people indignant.
Groups of lawyers and citizens continue to show their support
for the four by visiting the town of Jiangsanjiang without fear
of suppression, despite dozens of supporters being arrested.
Many scholars and lawyers have also sent letters to the Chinese
Communist Party's congress demanding to remove black jails.
Jiangxi activist Song Ningsheng says local authorities
in Jiansanjiang arrested another five people
on the morning of March 31.
They are lawyers supporting the detained lawyers,
just like the 12 supporters who were arrested on the 30th.
Song Ningsheng says that the local government has stepped up
“stability maintenance” measures.
Residents of neighboring provinces aren't allowed into
Jiansanjiang; even the nearby city Harbin is questioning visitors.
Song Ningsheng, Jiangxi activist: "Jiansanjiang won't be able
to achieve their goal using the violent and terrorist means of
the CCP against these citizens and lawyers.
Now people throughout the country are gathering and going to
At least 20 people are expected to arrive tonight."
Jiangxi resident Liu Jiaqing says he arrived in Jiansanjiang
on the night of March 30 with over four other Chinese from
Jiangxi, Sichuan, and Heilongjiang.
Liu Jiaqing, a Jiangxi citizen:
"They started to check our ID cards last night.
This morning, police came to our hotel and threatened us to
leave before tonight.
Around lunch time, the police came to threaten us again and
warned the government isn't afraid to 'take care of us.'”
Liu Jiaqing says the threats will not affect them.
They have come exactly because the supporters wrote
online about the beatings and arrests they're facing.
They went to continue the support.
On March 20, the four lawyers Tang Jitian, Jiang Tianyong,
Zhang Junjie, and Wang Cheng, along with nine relatives of
the defendants went to Qinglongshan brainwashing
center located at Jiansanjiang, requesting the release of the
illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners.
In the morning of March 21, all four lawyers
and the defendants relatives were kidnapped from their hotel.
The incident caused strong indignation
among the people and lawyers.
Since then, dozens of lawyers and netizens have rushed
to Jiansanjiang to show their solidarity to the arrested.
To meet the people illegally detained, supporters stayed outside
of the detention center and went on hunger strike in the cold.
By the morning of March 27, lawyer Zhang Junjie was released.
He was diagnosed with three broken ribs and confirmed he
witnessed three other lawyers being injured.
In the early hours of March 29, the supporting lawyers
and citizens outside of the detention center were all arrested.
On March 30, one participant, Mao Shanchun, posted on the
Internet saying that the arrested citizens were released.
Lawyers Wang Shengsheng, Fu Yonggang, and Wang Quanzhang
were also released.
However, lawyer Wang quanzhang was diagnosed with head
trauma caused by violent assault by police during the arrest.
By night on March 30, the Jiansanjiang authorities announced
that 13 citizens were detained, including Di Yanmin, Zhang
Shengyu, and Chen Jianxiong to name a few.
Teng Biao, human rights lawyer: "Based on the entire process,
the Jiansanjiang authorities are completely lawless.
Black jails themselves are illegal. On top of that, they torture
and arrest lawyers, and deny people's right to see a lawyer.
They even illegally searched and imposed a curfew on those
citizens and lawyers who were there to show support.”
In the evening of March 30, scholars and lawyers including
Teng Biao sent a letter to the CCP congress requesting the
termination of the Heilongjiang Land Reclamation Bureau,
which hides the local black jails.
The letter says Jiansanjiang District belongs to the Heilongjiang
Land Reclamation Bureau.
The existence of the Land Reclamation Bureau has resulted in
a legal barrier and messy management, as well as confusion
between the administrative functions and those of enterprises.
It strongly recommends that Heilongjiang People's Congress
revoke Heilongjiang Reclamation Regulations and correct
the violation of the rules.
Teng Biao said on his Twitter account that there are many more
black jails throughout the country, not just in Jiansanjiang.
Jiansanjiang just demonstrates the brutality of the black jails.
He says there will be more serious human rights disasters
if the black jails are not banned.
The political commentator Yu Qingxin says Chinese lawyers
are increasingly awakening.
They are defending for the bottom line of human civilization
and the law.
They are risking their lives to touch on the issues such as
justice for Falun Gong.
They dare to touch the fundamental issues.
That’s what scares the CCP the most: The CCP can’t get around
the core issue--- Falun Gong.
Beijing lawyer Chen Jiangang is currently calling on
“fearless lawyers” to go with him to Jiansanjiang
and there are seven who have said they would.
Interview & Edit/Liyun Post-Production/Zhongyuan