Henan- He went missing a year and a half ago. Now, he’s being forced to take medication, possibly causing him to lose his memory. When Jiang Lianghou, the father of imprisoned human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, visited his son in prison, the younger Jiang said he is being forced to take unknown medication twice a day, a Radio Free Asia report said. His father noted that his memory seemed markedly decreased, prompting worries that the memory loss is tied to the new medicine regiment.
Jiang Tianyong’s wife, Jin Bianling, who fled to the United States after her husband’s arrest, said her father-in-law informed her that Jiang Tianyong was barred from exercising outdoors and described the prison conditions as “terrible.”
On a previous visit, Jiang Tianyong’s father noted that his son’s legs were red and swollen, spiking concerns that he may have been tortured.
Additionally, authorities are not permitting him to use the money his family raised to buy necessities and have denied him the clothes they have sent.
Jiang Tianyong vanished while returning home from a trip to visit Chen “Gloria” Guiqiu, the wife of the then-illegally incarcerated lawyer Xie Yang, on Nov. 21, 2016. For a month, his family wondered if he was even alive, but he was later found to be in a “black jail,” or an unofficial prison notorious for mistreating inmates. He was formally arrested on May 31, 2017, and he remained out of contact with the outside world for 10 months.
During his trial, prosecutors used statements Jiang Tianyong had made since 2009 and acts of helping other wrongfully-imprisoned human rights attorneys as evidence of his crime. Under authoritarian pressure, Jiang Tianyong also pleads guilty to fabricating a rumor that Xie had been tortured by authorities, despite the fact that Xie’s mistreatment had already been proved.
On Nov. 20, 2017, he was sentenced to two years in prison. When wives of persecuted lawyers and tireless advocates for rule of law Wang Qiaoling, Li Wenzu, Yuan Shanshan, and another woman named Ermin heard of his sentencing, they attempted to attend the hearing, but the police blocked off all roads within a one-kilometer radius of the court and brutally beat the women when they arrived.
“They twisted my entire body around, broke my wrists, and pinched me behind my cheeks,” Wang said. “It was so painful that I couldn’t even speak. The other two police officers in plain clothes pushed Li Wenzu to the ground and dragged her for 50 meters. Her jacket was ripped off, and her phone was also stolen.”
Li said, “The police in Hunan were fierce and brutal. I almost suffocated when I was dragged on the ground with the jacket covering my nose.”
The discovery that Jiang Tianyong is being forced to take medicine coincides with a suspected government plan to slowly kill off human rights defenders. Huang Qi, another human rights advocate is near death after mistreatment in prison. On July 13, 2017, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and famed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo passed away of liver cancer after receiving inadequate treatment in prison, as did another human rights activist, Yang Tianshui.