Tuesday, January 31, 2017

VDL Farms continues plans to export fresh milk to China despite chief executive resignation

VDL Farms continues plans to export fresh milk to China despite chief executive resignation

Posted Mon January 30th 2017
Australia's largest and oldest dairy will continue with plans to export fresh milk to China despite the resignation of its chief executive.
Outgoing chief executive David Beca has been at the helm of VDL Farms since July 2015, but announced this month he would be resigning from the role.
The new owners have since launched plans to export branded fresh milk from Hobart to China on direct weekly flights.
Mr Beca told ABC Rural that despite a backdrop of failed plans to capitalise on the emerging middle class market in China, he was confident China presented significant opportunities for Australian dairy businesses.
"China clearly presents risks if your business is completely reliant on a niche product into China because, like many other markets, rules and regulations can change," he said.
"I think all it means is one might be wise not to bet the bank on everything going smoothly from day one, and I know we certainly won't be.
"Our initial move there is in a general product, not a specialised product. Just very high quality milk."

Resignation not linked with China plans

Mr Beca said his resignation was independent of the changes underway in the Chinese market that have caused significant disruption to other Australian dairy companies such as Bellamy'sMurray Goulburn, and Bega and Blackmores.
"It's a personal decision and related to a change of role," he said.
Mr Beca said his role had changed from a primary leadership role to more of a chief operating officer role when the business was acquired by Moon Lake Investments.
"When Moon Lake took over a significant part of that role was taken up by the Moon Lake managing director Sean Shwe, and it means my role has changed," he said.

Room to grow

Mr Beca said VDL Farms could double production without increasing land.
"There's room within our existing farms to continue to grow milk supply just through how we manage pasture and if we have opportunities to add water to irrigate," he said.
"We could comfortably add 9,000 cows to our dairy herd."
The acquisition of VDL Farms by Moon Lake Investments came with the promise of guaranteeing more than 140 local jobs, generating an intended additional investment of more than $100 million and an expected 95 additional jobs.
"I'm sure having Moon Lake on board makes a difference too when it comes to exporting to China. [China is] a complex and at times a not very transparent market," Mr Beca said.
"I think it's fair to say we've got to be more confident than most, but clearly it's still ahead of us."

China eyes Canada's Northwest Passage as fast shipping/military route via Arctic

China eyes Canada's Northwest Passage as fast shipping/military route via Arctic

Posted 20 Apr 2016, 2:53pm
China will encourage ships flying its flag to take the Northwest Passage via the Arctic Ocean, a route in waters that Canada claims as its own, to cut travel times between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a state-run newspaper said.

Key points:

  • Route opened by global warming cuts travel times between Atlantic and Pacific oceans
  • China's maritime authorities release 356-page route guide
  • Canada says it controls all waters in Northwest Passage
Shorter shipping routes across the Arctic Ocean, a route opened up by global warming, would save Chinese companies time and money. For example, the journey from Shanghai to Hamburg via the Arctic route is 2,800 nautical miles shorter than going by the Suez Canal.
China's Maritime Safety Administration this month released a guide offering detailed route guidance from the northern coast of North America to the northern Pacific, the China Daily said.
We welcome navigation that complies with our rules and regulations. Canada has an unfettered right to regulate internal waters.
Spokesman for Canadian foreign ministry Joseph Pickerill
"Once this route is commonly used, it will directly change global maritime transport and have a profound influence on international trade, the world economy, capital flow and resource exploitation," ministry spokesman Liu Pengfei said.
Asked if China considered the passage an international waterway or Canadian waters, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China noted Canada considered that the route crosses its waters, although some countries believed it was open to international navigation.
In Ottawa, a spokesman for Foreign Minister Stephane Dion said no automatic right of transit passage existed in the waterways of the Northwest Passage.
"We welcome navigation that complies with our rules and regulations. Canada has an unfettered right to regulate internal waters," Joseph Pickerill said by email.
China is increasingly active in the polar region, becoming one of the biggest mining investors in Greenland and agreeing to a free trade deal with Iceland.
The route would also be strategically important to China, another maritime official, Wu Yuxiao, told the China Daily.
Melting sea ice has spurred more commercial traffic, and China wants to become more active in the Arctic, where it says it has important interests.

Arctic sea ice concentration, 1984 and 2012

Image result for Arctic sea ice concentration, 1984 and 2012

Chinese ships will sail through the Northwest Passage "in the future", the maritime ministry spokesman Mr Liu added, without giving a time frame.
Chinese ships, even merchant vessels, using the Northwest Passage could raise eyebrows in Washington.
In September, five Chinese Navy ships sailed in international waters in the Bering Sea off Alaska, in an apparent first for China's military.
Maritime experts said shipping companies would most likely be deterred by the unpredictable nature of Arctic ice, the total absence of infrastructure in the region, relatively shallow waters, a lack of modern mapping and increased insurance costs.

[Lets reflect on our national anthem..."True north strong and free, we stand on guard for thee" or does anyone care anymore...]

Chinese greed blossoms in Tasmania’s cherry-ripe exports

Chinese greed blossoms in Tasmania’s cherry-ripe exports

Bei Hou at the Coal Valley Orchard in southern Tasmania. Picture: Peter Mathew
Tasmania’s famous cherry harvest is increasingly owned and consumed by China, with five of the last six orchards sold all bought by Chinese interests.
A surge in Chinese investment over the past 24 months has left at least six Tasmanian cherry orchards in Chinese ownership, while at least four other local growers have entered into joint ventures with Chinese investors.
The island state, with its combination of late-ripening cherries, timed perfectly for Chinese New Year and spring festival, and pest and disease-free status, allowing air freight exports direct to mainland China, cannot satisfy insatiable demand.
Exports of Tasmanian cherries virtually doubled last season to 2892 tonnes, worth an estimated $52 million, while sales to China more than doubled.
Almost every orchard is expanding, while production is expected to double by 2020 to meet “blue sky” demand, particularly from Asia and the Middle East.
“We have much more demand out of Hong Kong and China than we can ever supply,” explains Fruit Growers Tasmania business ­development manager Phil Pyke.
With local growers lacking the capital to expand to meet the ­demand, and Australian investors largely uninterested, Chinese entrepreneurs were stepping in. “The reality is that Australians aren’t buying these farms,” Mr Pyke said.
Harbin-based businessman Min Quan Shi has bought two cherry and mixed fruit orchards in the Coal River Valley, northeast of Hobart, since early 2015, and plans to double or triple the current 30ha of cherry trees.
Mr Shi has employed Chinese Tasmanian Bei Hou as director to run the two orchards, which trade as Coal Valley Orchard, ­exporting to China and Taiwan, as well as some domestic and local sales.
Ms Hou, who moved from China to Hobart 10 years ago and studied accounting at the University of Tasmania, said the potential for growth was massive, with markets across much of China’s north so far completely untapped.
As well as Tasmania’s “clean, green” reputation, the island’s late season cherry harvest was perfect. “The timing means Tasmanian cherries are available for Chinese spring festival when the tradition is that people take gifts to visit relatives and friends — and a box of Tasmanian cherries is just the best option,” she said.
Exports to mainland Australia were not as financially worthwhile, with Australians unwilling to match Chinese prices. “We ­export (overseas) nearly all of our first-grade cherries and we supply seconds to domestic market and smaller first-grade cherries to domestic market as well,” she said.
“Business is business — when you can get $20 a kilo on your top grade cherries (in China), you wouldn’t sell that for $10 or $15 (in Australia), would you?”
Mr Pyke said while the influx of Chinese capital was positive, it was changing the landscape, literally — with more orchards appearing across key growing regions — as well as culturally.
“In the last two years, the whole dynamics of the Tasmanian fruit sector has changed from those traditional, generation farms to the arrival of the foreign investors,” Mr Pyke said.
About 60 per cent of the state’s cherry harvest was now exported.

OK To Sell Australia,NOT!

Image may contain: 1 person

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (3) – Dangling Chair, Beating, Threatening Lives of Loved Ones, and Framing Others

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (3) – Dangling Chair, Beating, Threatening Lives of Loved Ones, and Framing Others

Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang, January 21, 2017


Continued from Part One and Part Two

[The interview began at 2:49:55 p.m. on January 5, 2017.]
Chen Jiangang (陈建刚, “CHEN”): Let’s continue.
Xie Yang (谢阳, “XIE”): Okay.
CHEN: Other than not letting you sleep, were there other ways they used to coerce you?
XIE: Yes. They have a kind of slow torture called the “dangling chair.” It’s like I said before—they made me sit on a bunch of plastic stools stacked on top each other, 24 hours a day except for the two hours they let me sleep. They make you sit up there, with both feet unable to touch the ground. I told them that my right leg was injured from before, and that this kind of torture would leave me crippled. I told all of the police who came to interrogate me. They all said: “We know. Don’t worry, we have it under control.” Some also said: “Don’t give us conditions—you’ll do what we tell you to do!”
CHEN: What next?
XIE: No one had any sympathy for my situation. They just deliberately tortured and tormented me. Every day, I had to sit there for more than 20 hours, both legs dangling in such pain until they became numb. Afterwards, my right leg began to swell from top to bottom. It was summer, and my thigh and calf were both severely swollen.
CHEN: After your leg began showing symptoms, did they stop interrogating you and provide you with any medical treatment?
XIE: No. That went on for more than 20 hours a day. They just gave me some Chinese medicine to rub on my legs.
CHEN: Did you ask for time to rest because your right leg was swollen?
XIE: Sure, but it was no use. Yin Zhuo (尹卓), Zhou Yi (周毅), Qu Ke (屈可) and the other police who interrogated me were deliberately trying to torment me—they even said so clearly. Making someone sit on a “dangling chair” for 20 hours a day is a kind of slow torture. It causes lumbar pain and pain in the legs, but it’s slow and doesn’t leave any external injuries. When you add sleep deprivation to that, this is a way to torture people that doesn’t cause external injuries and doesn’t leave any scars.
CHEN: Considering the sleep deprivation and the “dangling chair,” were the transcripts of your interrogations and the statements you signed factual?
XIE: There was no way to match the facts. They weren’t happy with what I wrote and made me rewrite it. Every time they didn’t like my answer to one of their questions, they would keep asking me again and again. They clearly told me: “We’ve got all the time in the world. You’re in residential surveillance for six months. If you don’t behave and obey, we’ll continue to torment you.”
They wanted answers to fit their three options—fame, profit, or opposing the Party and socialism. I could only choose from those options. To get it over with sooner, I wrote whatever they wanted me to write. Later, I completely broke down. It got to the point where I was crying as they questioned me and had me write statements. I really couldn’t write anymore. I told them to type something up and I’d sign it, no matter what it said. I didn’t want to go on living. I couldn’t take it anymore—I just wanted to sleep for a little while.
CHEN: Did anyone beat you?
XIE: Yes, I was beaten many times by Zhou Lang (周浪), Yin Zhuo, Zhuang Xiaoliang (庄晓亮) and some others.
CHEN: When and why did they beat you?
XIE: They said I wasn’t being cooperative in the way I was writing statements. They wanted me to write according to what they wanted, even if it didn’t match the facts at all. They tried to force me, and I refused. There were other times when I was simply too tired and I couldn’t even pick up the pen. Mostly it was during the fourth shift, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. When I couldn’t write, they would beat me.
CHEN: How would they beat you?
XIE: Several of them would come over and pull me up. Then they’d split up the work: one or two would grab my arms while someone used their fists to punch me in the stomach, kneed me in the stomach, or kicked me with their feet.
CHEN: Was there a camera in the room?
XIE: Yes, there was, and it should have been working normally. Every time they beat me they would drag me to a blind spot just below the camera where it couldn’t capture what they were doing. I knew what they were thinking, so each time they beat me I would deliberately move to a spot where the camera could see what was going on. Later, Yin Zhuo said to me: “You think the camera is going to help you? I tell you, we control the camera, so don’t think it’ll do any good for you to be in its view. This is a case of counterrevolution! Do you think the Communist Party will let you go? I could torture you to death and no one could help you . . . .”
CHEN: Did those beatings lead to any injuries?
XIE: There were no external injuries—they just wanted to cause pain. They’d mainly target the lower body, from the stomach down, so there’d be no visible injuries.
CHEN: Did you give in after being beaten by them?
XIE: Yes, I wanted to be done with the interrogations as quickly as possible, even if it meant dying. So whatever they wanted me to write, I wrote. I also signed a lot of interrogation transcripts that they typed up. They didn’t let me make any suggestions, let alone make changes. At first I demanded to make changes, because the transcripts were all lies. But they didn’t agree and said I was being dishonest. Later, I could only sign the transcripts. Whatever they wanted to type up, they would type up. I had no right to make any objections or changes.
CHEN: Were there other ways that they tortured you or caused you discomfort?
XIE: Yes. Between the 13th and the 19th, they also used smoke to torture me.
CHEN: Can you explain what that entailed?
XIE: There were several people among the police who interrogated me who weren’t the ones mainly responsible for the interrogation. But eventually their shifts would come up. A couple of them would sit on either side of me, and each would light some cigarettes and put them together. The two of them would puff on the cigarettes and then blow the smoke toward my face while I was forced to sit there. All of the breathing space around my head was smoke. I said: “It’s not too appropriate for you to do that, is it?” They said: “What can you do about it? We’ll smoke like this if we want!” So they kept on “smoking” me like that. It wasn’t to force me to confess; it was just to torment me and make me miserable.
After the first seven days, they figured I’d already been tormented. So later when they’d make me sign interrogation records, if I didn’t cooperate or raised objections or asked for changes, they’d say: “Xie Yang, do you need to be sent back to the furnace for a while?” They were threatening to torture me again. They also said: “Xie Yang, we’ll torture you to death just like an ant.”
CHEN: What else did they say to you?
XIE: From start to finish, they used my family and child to threaten me. They said: “Your wife is a professor at Hunan University–surely she must have ‘economic problems’? [e. g. corruption] If you don’t cooperate, we might be forced to expand this matter. If you don’t come clean and explain things clearly, we’ll go after your wife without a doubt.”
They said: “And we know your brother’s a civil servant, a minor official. Surely he has some problems we could investigate? And we know you have a nephew who has bright prospects and works at the Hunan Bureau of Letters and Visits. Is he really that clean? Don’t force us to go and investigate them.”
They also threatened my children, saying: “Your daughter Xie Yajuan is a student at Bocai Middle School in Changsha. If her classmates and teachers knew that her father was a counterrevolutionary, could she even raise her head up? How could she ever get a job as a civil servant in the future?”
CHEN: What else did they say?
XIE: Yin Zhuo and the others also threatened the lives of my wife and children. The exact words were: “Your wife and children need to pay attention to traffic safety when they’re out in the car. There are a lot of traffic accidents these days.”
CHEN: Did you ask what he meant by that?
XIE: No, I knew what it meant. I was extremely scared then. They used my wife and children to threaten me [starts to sob]. I said: “If that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve answered all of your questions truthfully. I’m locked up here. If that’s what you want to do, there’s nothing I can do about it.”
CHEN: What then? Did they say anything else?
XIE: They said a lot. For example: “We know all about how many women you have out there. Don’t make us tell your wife—it would have an impact on your family.” I said, if you’ve found something go ahead and tell my wife. They thought I was just like them.
CHEN: What else?
XIE: They threatened to investigate my friends. Yin Zhuo said: “It would be easy for us to expand the scope of our investigation. We have plenty of resources. If you don’t cooperate with us, we can investigate your friends one by one and put them through the wringer. We’ve got the resources and we have our methods. In this case, there’s no limit to how far we can take the investigation—that includes your law firm, your friends and colleagues. We’ll go after whomever we please and deal with them however we want.” This type of threat permeated the entire interrogation process, especially during the first seven days.
CHEN: And then? What else did they say?
XIE: They mainly used my children to threaten me [starts to sob]. Yin Zhuo said: “We’ve arrested a bunch of lawyers. Lawyer Zhang Lei (张磊) has been arrested in Zhejiang.” I cried for a long time when I heard that. Zhang Lei had a newborn baby at the time I was arrested, just over a month old. I was very sad when I heard that Zhang Lei had been arrested and cried for a long time because I was worried both for his child and for mine.
CHEN: What next?
XIE: Zhuang Xiaoliang and Yin Zhuo said to me: “We’re mainly looking at your attitude. Your case is the number one case up above. You think you can go to Beijing and file complaints about mistakes we’ve made—don’t you think Beijing knows we’re putting you through all this? We’ll make you suffer any way we please!”
CHEN: Was your ordinary access to food and drink ensured while you were in residential surveillance in a designated location?
XIE: No, they deliberately didn’t let me drink water. At 11:30 a.m. someone would deliver food, but each time they wouldn’t let me eat and deliberately dragged on and didn’t let me eat until after 1 p.m. By that time, the food was already cold.
They didn’t let me drink water during their interrogations. If I wanted a drink, I needed to request permission but they wouldn’t let me drink. They’d deliberately put water in front of me, but they wouldn’t let me drink any—that sort of thing. They’d put the water in front of me, but they used control over one of my basic needs—the need to drink water—to make me miserable.
Once I was so thirsty that I started drinking from a bottle of water they’d put in front of me. Zhou Yi snatched it away and started beating me, saying that I’d tried to attack a police officer.
CHEN: During the period of residential surveillance in a designated location, other than beatings, threats, the “dangling chair,” sleep deprivation, and smoke in your eyes, were there other methods they used to coerce you?
XIE: They also tried to induce me to implicate and frame other people. They said they wanted me to inform and expose.
CHEN: Explain what happened.
XIE: It was probably the middle of August 2015. The first round of concentrated interrogations was over. Because I couldn’t take the torture anymore, I’d signed anything they wanted me to sign. That was over. Yin Zhuo and the rest now wanted me to implicate and frame other people. Yin Zhuo said to me: “Xie Yang, you’ve only been a lawyer for three years. Even if you did bad things every day during that time, it wouldn’t amount to much. If you implicate other members of the Human Rights Lawyers Group (人权律师团), you’d be performing meritorious service and could get lenient treatment. You could implicate Liu Weiguo (刘卫国), Liu Jinxiang (刘金湘), Chen Jiangang, Zhang Lei, Qin Yongpei (覃永沛), Zhu Xiaoding (朱孝顶), Pang Kun (庞琨), Chang Boyang, (常伯阳), Ge Wenxiu (葛文秀), Sui Muqing (隋牧青), Wen Donghai (文东海), Cai Ying (蔡瑛), Yang Jinzhu (杨金柱), or Hu Linzheng (胡林政). Inform on any one of them, and you’ll be performing meritorious service. We’ll report it up to our superiors and get you released on bail.”
CHEN: How did you answer?
XIE: I said there’s no organization called “Human Rights Lawyers Group”—it’s just a chat group, not an organization. I said I’m an independent person and don’t take orders from anyone. I don’t have a lot of contacts with other lawyers and haven’t had too many interactions with the lawyers you’ve named. I don’t have anything to offer you. I refused to frame other lawyers.
CHEN: Besides implicating other lawyers, did they want you to inform on anyone else?
XIE: Yes, Yin Zhuo also named a number of citizens, like Ou Biaofeng (欧彪峰) in Changsha and Zhai Yanmin (翟岩民) in Beijing. There were a bunch of other names that I didn’t recognize. Yin Zhuo and the others wanted me to inform on and frame them. They brought in a bunch of documents on Ou Biaofeng for me to look at in order to get me to implicate and expose him. They prompted me to try and get me to say what communications I’d had with them, what sorts of cases I’d handled with them, and that sort of thing. I refused.
CHEN: What did Yin Zhuo say after you refused?   
XIE: He was very disappointed. After another week, he came to see me and said: “Forget about the others. We’ve asked the main responsible persons in the Changsha Domestic Security Unit. They said if you can report on and expose things that Hunan lawyers Cai Ying (蔡瑛) and Yang Jinzhu (杨金柱) did—even one of them is enough—they’ll give you lenient treatment and we can release you on bail.”
CHEN: How did you reply?    
XIE: I said I wanted to perform meritorious service but that I hadn’t had much interaction with Yang Jinzhu and hadn’t ever seen him in Changsha. I said I wanted to report on and expose any wrongdoing, but I didn’t really know anything about him and didn’t have any materials to give them. As for Lawyer Cai Ying, I said even though I knew him we hadn’t worked together and I didn’t have any materials on him either. I said we’d only eaten a few meals together and had a few drinks—no interaction beyond that.
CHEN: That was the second time you refused Yin Zhuo. What did he say?
XIE: Yin Zhuo said he was giving me a chance and I was squandering it. He said I was asking for punishment by not accepting the opportunities he was offering me.
CHEN: Let’s stop here for today and continue again tomorrow.

(The interview concluded at 4:56:06 p.m. on January 5, 2017.)

The Anti-Torture Work of Lawyer Li Heping That Irked the Chinese Authorities

The Anti-Torture Work of Lawyer Li Heping That Irked the Chinese Authorities

January 25, 2017

709 李和平
Lawyer Li Heping (李和平) is one of China’s earliest human rights lawyers and no stranger to torture. In an interview with the artist Ai Weiwei in 2010, he recounted how he was abducted one day in 2007 by Chinese domestic security police, beaten savagely, and thrown onto a hill outside Beijing in the middle of the night. In recent years he ran an anti-torture education program in Beijing, which was likely the reason for his arrest, along with scores of other lawyers, in July 2015, in what is now known as the “709 Incident.” Last week, lawyer Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) published hisinterviews with lawyer Xie Yang (谢阳) detailed horrific torture the latter was subjected to during a period of “residential surveillance at a designated place” and at the detention center, yesterday the Hong Kong-based Chinese Human Rights Concern Group said that it learned from sources that Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang (王全璋) were tortured by being shocked with electricity. Both have been in custody for over 500 days without access to family or their lawyers. We asked a colleague of lawyer Li Heping to tell us more about the anti-torture work Li engaged in, which has now likely brought torture upon Li himself. The author of the article wishes to remain anonymous. — The Editors  

China, among all countries, has one of the longest histories of the use of torture. In contemporary China, torture is most often understood as merely a part of the interrogation process in criminal cases. This is directly related to the fact that the concept of “torture” as defined in the international criminal context has no clear domestic legal definition in China. In fact, the United Nations’ Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishmentwhich China ratified in 1986, defines torture broadly: it includes the application of physical or psychological torture by public officials for the purpose of gaining information or confessions, and it also includes torture for the purpose of threatening, menacing, or discriminating against victims. All these forms of torture can have severely negative impacts on the body and minds of victims. So in China, many people — including lawyers who are steeped in the law — have a limited understanding of torture.
In recent years it has become known to the public that torture has been employed in many criminal cases to procure confessions. Public reports of exonerations — including in the Hugjiltu case in Inner Mongolia, the Nie Shubin case in Hebei, the Yang Ming case in Guizhou — show that in every single case of this kind, torture was used. Clearly, the use of torture is one of the key reasons for these false convictions and grave injustices. If torture is reduced, then the number of unjust and false convictions is also likely to decrease commensurately.
As a way of helping more lawyers better understand torture and equip them with more information about torture, Li Heping and a number of criminal defense lawyers took a leading role in promoting the idea of “Prohibition of Torture” (禁止酷刑). From around 2009, Li and a few other Beijing-based lawyers, began to work with the UK-based NGO The Rights Practice, advocating and promoting inside China the idea of prohibiting torture. This work included organizing small-scale legal salons, large-scale law symposiums, drafting anti-torture handbooks, raising the profile of specific cases of torture, and more.


We began at a fundamental level, discussing the definition of torture in small group setting, then the key articles of The Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. We compared the clauses in the convention to China’s own laws, and in doing so, discovered the problems with Chinese law, and proposed means and strategies for dealing with them.
Through a few years of work, many lawyers who attended these discussions gained a much deeper understanding on the prohibition of torture. The lawyers were able to provide numerous ideas for judicial reforms that would prohibit torture, including changes to the detention center system, the right for lawyers to be present at interrogations of their client, exclusion of illegally-obtained evidence, audio-visual recording of suspect interrogations, and many other institutional safeguards and reforms. Some of these suggestions for reform have already been implemented, while others — like the right for lawyers to be present at interrogation, or the exclusion of illegally-obtained evidence — still require a lot of work at the procedural and practical levels.
Lawyers need to pay constant attention to these issues and continue to promote them. What is gratifying, however, is that many individual cases of convictions obtained via torture in custody ultimately resulted in a commutations or amended, non-guilty judgements, after lawyers began advocating around them.
Of course, the project has not been entirely smooth going. Li Heping and other main participants were subject to long-term pressure from the authorities, and the police regularly called them in for “drinking tea,” threatening and intimidating them. Sometimes the police would warn the lawyers off attending a particular event, or prohibit them from meeting a visiting foreign dignitary, among other demands.
In early 2011, a number of lawyers were among scores of activists who had been forcibly disappeared across the country, and when they were released a few months later, they exposed how they were tortured during their disappearance.
In July 2015, a nationwide campaign targeted human rights lawyers, and Li Heping was among those taken into custody. To this day he still has not been tried. According to publicly available information, a number of lawyers, after being arrested, were put under residential surveillance at a designated location (指定居所监视居住), during which time they were subjected to extremely severe torture. The Hunan lawyer Xie Yang, for instance, was beaten by police and put through exhausting interrogations and sleep deprivation. Li Heping’s younger brother, Li Chunfu (李春富), was detained for 530 days, during which time he suffered severe psychological damage. These cases make clear that torture remains an extremely serious problem. Everyone needs to pay attention to the issue, including, of course, the international community.“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
We believe that while advocacy for the prohibition of torture will remain full of risks, more and more lawyers will stand up and say “no” to torture. Through the efforts of lawyers, torture in China will occur less and less, and those who have carried out the torture will receive the punishment they’re due.

Document of Torture: One Chinese Lawyer’s Story From Jail, WSJ China Real Time, January 20, 2017.
Beijing Breaks Lawyers, Wall Street Journal editorial, January 22, 2017.
In China, torture is real, and the rule of law is a sham, Washington Post editorial, January 27, 2017.
Cataloging the Torture of Lawyers in China, China Change, July 5, 2015.

Translated from Chinese by China Change.

Document of Torture: One Chinese Lawyer’s Story From Jail

Document of Torture: One Chinese Lawyer’s Story From Jail 

January 21, 2017 okezie 

Unusually detailed testimony describing the mental and physical torture of a Chinese human rights lawyer in police custody pulls back the curtain on the Communist Party’s campaign to crush dissent.

copied from https://talkingdrum.com.ng/2017/01/21/document-of-torture-one-chinese-lawyers-story-from-jail/

Transcript of Interviews with Lawyer Xie Yang (1)Arrest, Questions About Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Group

Xie Yang, Chen Jiangang and Liu Zhengqing, January 19, 2017
In a series of interviews, the still incarcerated human rights lawyer Xie Yang provided a detailed account of his arrest, interrogations, and the horrific abuses he suffered at the hands of police and prosecutors, to his two defense lawyers Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) and Liu Zhengqing (刘正清). This revelation, and the extraordinary circumstances of it, mark an important turn in the 709 crackdown on human rights lawyers. This group, seen as the gravest threat to regime security, has not been crushed, but instead has become more courageous and more determined. This is the first of several installments in English translation. — The Editors


Date: January 4, 2017, 3:08:56 p.m. (interview start)
Location: Interview Room 2W, Changsha Number Two Detention Center
Interviewee: Xie Yang (谢阳, “Xie”)
Interviewers: Lawyers Chen Jiangang (陈建刚) and Liu Zhengqing (刘正清) (“Lawyers”)
Transcription by Chen Jian’gang

Lawyers: Hello, Xie Yang. We are Chen Jian’gang and Liu Zhengqing, defense lawyers hired by your wife, Chen Guiqiu (陈桂秋). Do you agree to these arrangements?
XIE: Yes, I agree to appoint you as my defense counsel.
LAWYERS: Today, we need to ask you some questions regarding the case. Could you please take your time and describe the circumstances of your detention and interrogation?
XIE: I was picked up in the early morning hours of July 11, 2015, at the Qianzhou Hotel in Hongjiang City, Hunan (湖南怀化洪江市托口镇黔洲大酒店). As I was sleeping, a bunch of people—some in plain clothes and others in police uniform—forced their way into my room. They didn’t display any identification but showed me an official summons for questioning before taking me away to the Hongjiang City Public Security Bureau. Everything I had with me, including my mobile phone, computer, identification card, lawyer’s license, wallet, bank cards, and briefcase were confiscated. When they got me downstairs, I saw there were three cars waiting. They sent around a dozen or so people to detain me.
LAWYERS: What happened next after you got to the Hongjiang City Public Security Bureau?
XIE: It was around 6 a.m. when we arrived at the station, at the crack of dawn. Someone took me to a room in the investigations unit and had me sit in an interrogation chair—the so-called “iron chair.” Once I sat down, they locked me into the shackles on the chair. From that point, I was shackled in whether or not they were questioning me.
LAWYERS: Did anyone at the time say that you had been placed under detention or arrest? Why did they immediately shackle you?
XIE: No, no one said anything about placing me under any of the statutory coercive measures. They just shackled me right away, and that’s how I stayed for over three hours. No one cared—they just left me shackled like that.
LAWYERS: What happened next?
XIE: Sometime after 9 a.m., two police officers came in. Neither of them showed me any paperwork or identification, either. I could tell by their accents that they weren’t local police from Hongjiang. They hadn’t been among the group that detained me, so they must have come later.
LAWYERS: What questions did they ask you?
XIE: They asked me whether I’d joined “that illegal organization the ‘Human Rights LAWYERS Group’” (人权律师团) and some other questions about the Human Rights Lawyers Group. I said that as far as I knew there was no organization called the “Human Rights Lawyers Group.” They said there was a chat group on WeChat, and I said I was a member of that group. They said: “The lawyers in that group are anti-Party and anti-socialist in nature.” Then they asked questions about who organized the group, what sort of things it did, and so on.
LAWYERS: How did you answer them?
XIE: I said that almost all the members of this group were lawyers and that it was a group set up by people with a common interest. I said it was a place for us to exchange information and that there was no organizer—everyone was independent and equal and there was no hierarchy of any kind. It was only a group for exchanging information and chatting amongst each other, sometimes even cracking jokes and things like that.
LAWYERS: What then?
XIE: Then, one of the officers asked whether we’d publicly issued any joint statements or opinions regarding certain cases in the name of the “Human Rights Lawyers Group.” I said that we had and that this was an act we took as individuals and that we signed as individuals, voluntarily.
Then they asked whether I was willing to quit the Human Rights Lawyers Group. I said that, first of all, since I hadn’t joined any organization called “Human Rights Lawyers Group,” there was no way I could leave it. Then they asked whether I’d be willing to quit the “Human Rights Lawyers Group” chat group. I said that I had the freedom to be part of the chat group and that they had no right to interfere.
LAWYERS: What happened after that?
XIE: They told me the Ministry of Public Security had passed judgment on the chat group known as the “Human Rights Lawyers Group,” saying that there were anti-Party, anti-socialist lawyers in the group. They said they hoped that I could see the situation clearly and that I’d be treated leniently if I cooperated with them. This lasted for more than an hour. They finally said: “Leaders in Beijing and the province are all involved in this case. If you quit the Human Rights Lawyers Group, you’ll be treated leniently.” I asked what they meant by “leniently.” They said I should know that lawyers from the group were being questioned throughout the country and said that there was a possibility that I’d be prosecuted if I continued to refuse to come to my senses.
LAWYERS: What then?
XIE: At the time I thought they’d only brought me in for a talking-to and to see whether I’d agree to quit the group. But I continued to say that the group was only a chat group. They made me give a statement to sign, two pages long, regarding the chat group. The summons said they were investigating “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a work unit,” but there was no mention of that in the statement. They also asked me about some of the cases I’d been involved in, such as the Jiansanjiang case (建三江案) and the Qing’an shooting case (庆安枪击案). I told them I’d taken part, and they asked me who’d instructed me to do so. I said I went to take part in those cases of my own accord and that no one had instructed me to do anything. What’s more, I said that I’d been formally retained as a lawyer in those cases and that this fell within the scope of ordinary professional work. I’ve since seen my case file, and that statement isn’t in it.
LAWYERS: What happened after you gave your statement?
XIE: After I gave my statement, they said they were relatively satisfied with my attitude and they needed to report to their superiors. They also said that I should be able to receive lenient treatment. Then they left.
About 10 minutes or so later, sometime after 10:30, another police officer came in. He introduced himself as Li Kewei (李克伟) and said he was the ranking officer in charge of my case. I asked him how high a rank, and he drew a circle with his hand and said: “I’m in charge of this entire building.” I guessed he might be the chief or deputy chief of the Changsha Public Security Bureau. I later found out that Li Kewei was the head of the Domestic Security Unit at the Changsha Public Security Bureau.
LAWYERS: What happened then?
XIE: He told me he was not dissatisfied with my attitude. He said I’d only touched very lightly on my own actions and hadn’t “reflected” on things “deep enough in my heart.” He said: “You have to give a new statement, otherwise you won’t get any lenient treatment from us.”
I told him that I was disappointed in the way they were going back on their word. I asked what sort of “reflection” would qualify as “deep enough in my heart”—what was his standard?
He said: “We’re in charge of setting the standard.” I said that if they were in charge of the standard, then there was no way for me to assess it. I told him I was extremely disappointed by their lack of sincerity and that I was unwilling to cooperate with them.
LAWYERS: What happened next?
XIE: Another officer brought in my mobile phone and demanded that I enter the PIN so that they could access my phone. I told them they had no right to do that and I refused. I later found out that this officer was from the Huaihua Domestic Security Unit. He’s someone in charge of my case, but I don’t know his name.
LAWYERS: Then what happened?
XIE: Li Kewei said they weren’t after me and that he hoped I would change my attitude and cooperate with them. Then it was lunchtime. After lunch, there was no more discussion until 5 or 6 p.m. The police had an auxiliary officer stay with me. He didn’t let me sleep at night and kept me shackled like that up until daybreak. For the whole night, the auxiliary officer kept a close eye on me and didn’t let me sleep. As soon as I closed my eyes or nodded off, they would push me, slap me, or reprimand me. I was forced to keep my eyes open until dawn.
LAWYERS: What happened at dawn?
XIE: It must have been after five in the morning when five or six men burst in. Some were in plain clothes and some in uniform. They brought a faxed copy of a Decision on Residential Surveillance and had me sign it. After I signed, they brought me to a police car and took me away.
They drove me all the way to Changsha to a building that housed retired cadres from the National University of Defense Technology (国防科技大学). It was at 732 Deya Road in Kaifu District (开福区德雅路732号) — I saw this in my case file. I had no idea what sort of place it was when they brought me in. I only knew it was in Changsha, but I didn’t know where exactly.
In the car there was a police officer named Li Feng (李峰). I later learned he was from the Domestic Security Unit of the Hunan Provincial Public Security Bureau. He told me I’d already squandered one opportunity and said he hoped I would seize the next one and actively cooperate with them during my period of residential surveillance in a designated location. He said if I did, he’d report up to his superiors and seek lenient treatment for me. I thought that everything I’d done had been above board and I didn’t need to hide anything. I told them the PIN on my mobile phone and he was looking through my WeChat messages the whole ride over. He became very familiar with all that I’d done.
LAWYERS: What then?
XIE: It was about noon on July 12, 2015, when we got to the place in Changsha where they held me. They took me to that hotel and we entered through a side door. There were two police officers on either side of me, each grabbing hold of my arms and pressing on my neck to push me forward. They took me to a room on the second floor, which I later learned was Room 207. It was a relatively small room, with a small bed, two tables, and two chairs. There was a camera in the upper left corner as you entered the room.
LAWYERS: What happened after you went in?
XIE: After they brought me in, they had me sit on the chair. Three people stayed with me. None of them were police. I found out later that they were “chaperones” (陪护人员).

(The interview concluded at 4:54:45 p.m. on January 4, 2017.)