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ICC Note: Christian Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, well known for his loud support of dissidents amid a nationwide crackdown on dissent, stood trial yesterday in Changsha, confessing that he is “ashamed of inciting subversion of state power.” His wife and supporters however believed that his confession was forced and possibly the result of torture after nearly a year in secret detention. A verdict would be announced at a later hearing but no date was set.

08/22/2017 China (The Guardian) – Human rights activists have denounced as a sham the trial of a leading Chinese civil rights lawyer who authorities claim tried to topple China’s one-party state.

Jiang Tianyong, 46, was put on trial in the central city of Changsha on Tuesday morning having vanished into the custody of security services last November during a crackdown on lawyers described as China’s “war on law”.

China’s Communist party-controlled media claimed Jiang – whose past clients include activists such as the exiled dissident lawyer Chen Guangcheng – had confessed to the crime of “inciting subversion of state power”.

“I’m ashamed of it,” Jiang told the court, according to the English-language China Daily, which sent a correspondent to cover proceedings in a sign of Beijing’s determination to shape the narrative around the prosecution.

According to the state-run broadsheet, Jiang admitted to attending overseas training sessions where he was encouraged to reject China’s political system and ruling party. “So I wanted to make a change,” he reportedly said.

In an apparently mistranslated statement, published by the state-run Global Times and later deleted, Jiang added: “I wish to convey to the public my dissatisfaction toward the Communist party of China, the government, the police and the judicial system … in order to achieve the goal of change in the current system and overthrow the party.

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