Chinese human rights attorney arrested and his wife beaten

By November 24, 2009

China (MNN) — A day after making an attempt to meet with U.S. President Obama in China on Nov. 18, Gao Zhinsheng's former attorney was detained and his wife beaten.

Chinese Christian human rights attorney, Jiang Tianyong, and his wife attempted to leave their home on Nov. 19 to take their daughter to school. However, ChinaAid reported they were prevented from leaving by Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers.

Since July 31 of this year, Jiang's apartment had been under constant surveillance, with bright lights mounted to shine at the entrance of the building so he could not leave him home without being noticed, Jiang told HRI China.

That morning, there were officers stationed as normal.

"Before Jiang could speak with them, four officers grabbed him violently and forced him into a police car. A police officer named Wang Tao threw his wife to the ground and began striking her. Jiang's 7-year-old daughter cried helplessly as she watched her father being dragged away to detention by the officers," a ChinaAid media release said.

Jiang was then taken to the Yangfangdian PSB office Haidian District in Beijing. He was held for over thirteen hours and finally released later than night.

After his daughter finally arrived at school, she was brought into her school office and questioned by two PSB officers for over two hours, according to her mother.

Two days previously, Jiang had returned from a four-week tour of the United States where he spoke out against the unjust treatment of human rights lawyers in China, said ChinaAid.

According to HRIC, following his return, Jiang met with other lawyers and a constitutional scholar Fan Yafeng.

After the meeting, "Jiang called the embassy and told officials that he and this group would like to meet with President Obama because they had heard that the American president wished to speak with Chinese rights defense lawyers," HRIC reported. "Embassy officials told Jiang that it was not possible to set up a meeting. At around 9:50 a.m. Jiang was escorted away from the embassy area and was taken home by Chinese policemen."

Learning of Jiang's arrest, ChinaAid contacted the U.S. Embassy in Beijing and several U.S. Congressional officers to inform them of his harassment and detention.

ChinaAid reported, "A U.S. Embassy official quickly responded and said that the Embassy had called the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and formally registered the U.S. Government's concern and opposition to this action. The Embassy further reported the incident to the National Security Council and the State Department prior to Jiang's release."

Pray for Jiang and his wife and daughter. Pray for their witness to remain strong even in the face of threats and physical abuse. Also, pray for their safety.

To view more ChinaAid stories and for updates on this one, click here.

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