Date: June 30, 2017
(Changsha, Hunan—June 30, 2017) The wife of a tortured human rights lawyer detailed plans to sue the Chinese government and others involved in the persecution of her family in a letter to her husband on Tuesday.
After almost two years of persecution, Chen Guiqiu wrote a letter to her husband Xie Yang, a lawyer who is currently under heavy surveillance and was previously jailed and tortured for his human rights work. During his incarceration, authorities subjected his family to immense pressure, and even threatened to orchestrate a car accident in order to injure them, in order to get him to confess to his supposed crime. Chen began to fear that they might be taken as hostages, and officials restricted her ability to travel and barred the couple’s 15 year-old daughter from going to Hong Kong.
Additionally, authorities robbed their bank account, took the passports of Chen’s father and sister, and confiscated her cell phone. As a result, Chen plans to hire lawyers and sue the government and all those who assisted them as accessories to crime.
As the persecution continued to escalate, Chen realized that she and her daughters could no longer stay in China and fled to the United States. The night before she wrote the letter, Chen received a call from Xie, who urged her to come home, but she refused, since it is currently too dangerous for her and her two daughters.
A translation of Chen’s declaration
ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those enacted against Xie Yang, Chen Guiqiu, and their family, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.
Xie Yang, I will not go back to China; I am ready to bring charges against the government
Xie Yang, there are many things which need to be handled at our home. I won’t go back to China, so I won’t be able to deal with them personally. I wanted to ask you to sort them out, but since you can’t go home, I have to hire a legal team to process the lawsuit. Here are the things that have to be done immediately:
(1) Go to the Liuyang Public Security Bureau immediately and get back my laptop and my two cell phones that they confiscated. I stored in them a lot of material relevant to my work. How can I account for my beloved environmental protection work if they tamper with those materials? After they confiscated my phone, many friends in China could not reach me, nor do I have their numbers. You have to get them back as soon as possible and mail them to me. I need to re-establish a normal friend circle.
(2) Go to the Liuyang Public Security Bureau at once and retrieve my father and sister’s passports. They held the passports illegally, and they have to give them back. If they refuse, we must press charges against them.
(3) I am building a legal team to bring charges against the government. I will accuse the government of illegally restricting my oldest daughter’s and my own freedom to travel, so we had to go to Thailand as refugees and seek shelter from the United Nations. I had already commissioned Lawyer Zhang Lei when the government prevented us from leaving the country in 2016, but the Shenzhen Municipal Intermediate People’s Court did not accept the materials I prepared. In February 2017, the police detained our oldest daughter for several hours in solitary confinement at the Guangzhou East Railway Station. A 15 year-old kid jeopardized national security? I have to hire a lawyer and figure out what law she broke exactly and how she became a political prisoner.
(4) I will hire a lawyer as soon as possible to retrieve our entire life’s savings. After I arrived in the U.S. in March, I found out that all my bank accounts were frozen. My salary account in the Bank of China was reset to zero. That is the money we earned with blood, sweat, and hard work! Aren’t you angry that a group of thieves took it away? We have two daughters to raise. I don’t have the kindness to hand my hard-earned money to thieves. I will ask lawyers to visit the banks and figure out which national security official gave the order and so blatantly broke the law.
(5) I will also press charges against CCTV, the Global Times, and Phoenix Television, because they claimed that lawyers and I conspired to fabricate the evidence of your torture. I need to hire a few lawyers and bring a lawsuit against them to vent my anger! I have recordings that can serve as evidence. It might be complicated, since I have to sue the broadcasters, the reporters, the producers, and the national security officials who ordered them to do these things. However, I am confident that it won’t be too difficult if we hire a few more lawyers and strategize carefully.
I am a single-minded woman. I won’t let others arbitrarily take away my things. I will take them back piece by piece. Time is tight. I will build a team and retrieve my things.
Back in China, I visited all levels of public security authorities for your legal rights and endured all kinds of insults. Even still, it is a nightmare that I don’t dare to recall. I won’t go back to China again. If you could get out immediately, I will not have to hire lawyers. You could just get the things back yourself, and we wouldn’t have to trouble so many lawyers.
Your wife: Chen Guiqiu
ChinaAid Media Team
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