ICC Note: Rights groups gathered to protest and urge Chinese government to stop enforcing disappearances of rights activists and reveal the dissidents’ whereabouts. President Xi Jinping launched a nationwide crackdown on lawyers and rights activists in 2015. Many activists have vanished and been kept away from their families and on secret locations.
08/30/2017 China (Radio Free Asia) – Rights groups hit out at Beijing on Wednesday amid growing calls for justice for the victims of enforced disappearances at the hands of the Chinese government, calling for an end to the widespread practice of holding detainees for long periods of time in an unknown location, with no access to lawyers or family members.
Wednesday’s International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances has underscored the scope of the practice in China, where human rights lawyers, family members of dissidents, Hong Kong booksellers, Tibetan lamas and Uyghur religious students have all gone missing at the hands of authorities.
The wife of prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong said many of those detained in a crackdown on rights lawyers have been subjected to such disappearances since July 2015, when the administration of President Xi Jinping launched a nationwide police operation targeting the country’s legal profession and associated activists and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
“Lawyers detained during the July 2015 crackdown are frequently subjected to such treatment,” Jiang’s U.S.-based wife Jin Bianling told RFA. “For example, forcible disappearances, torture, and forced medication.”
“Today is the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, and I call upon the Chinese authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Jiang Tianyong, as well as that of [rights activist] Wu Gan and lawyer Wang Quanzhang,” she said.
“Enforced disappearances are illegal, and I strongly urge the Chinese government to end this practice.”