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China’s ‘war on law’: victims’ wives tell US Congress of torture and trauma

Women whose husbands were targets of Communist party crackdown on human rights lawyers call for US sanctions

The wives of some of the most prominent the number of victims of Xi Jinpings crackdown on civil society have stepped up their campaign for justice, backing calls for US sanctions against Chinese officials involved in allegedly barbaric instances of torture and abuse.

Addressing a congressional hearing in Washington on Thursday, the women, whose husbands were among the key targets of a Communist party offensive against human rights lawyers, detailed the physical and psychological trauma inflicted by Chinas so-called war on statute.

Chen Guiqiu, who fled to the United States in March, told to seeing how her husband, the attorney Xie Yang, had been imprisoned and brutally tortured because of his job defending the number of victims of ground grabs, religious mistreatment and dissidents.

She described her husbands ordeal as an example of Chinas lawlessness and claimed that at his recent experiment Xie had been was necessary to refute detailed allegations that he had have fallen victim of sustained and brutal campaign of torture.

Wang Yanfeng, the wife of Tang Jingling, a solicitor and republic activist who was incarcerated in 2016 in what campaigners described as a gross injustice, said her husband had suffered repeated trances of insult, threats and torturing. Today other[ solicitors and political prisoners] are still suffering from such torturing, Wang announced, calling on US president Donald Trump to challenge China over such abuses.

In a video content, Li Wenzu, the wife of lawyer Wang Quanzhang, said she had heard good-for-nothing from him since he was seized by police at the start of the campaign against solicitors in July 2015. I am deeply concerned about my husbands security. I dont know how his health is. I dont know whether he has been left disabled by the torturing. I dont even know whether he is alive.

Wang Qiaoling, whose spouse, Li Heping, recently emerged from a 22 -month stint in detention, said he returned home gazing 20 years younger and had told of being forced to sit for hours in stress positions and being shackled with chains. He suffered from very cruel and sick torturing, Wang added.

Also giving testimony was Lee Chin-yu, whose spouse, the Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che, vanished into Chinese custody in March after travelling to the mainland. I stand alone before you today to plead for your help for my husband, Lee announced, calling on Washington to pressure China to end her husbands illegitimate detention.

Since Chinas crackdown on solicitors began almost two years ago, its victims wives have emerged as a relentless and forceful voice of opponent, often employing humorous online videos and public concerts to champion their make. They say they have done so in defiance of a campaign of state-sponsored intimidation that has seen them trailed by undercover agents, struggle to enrol their children into academies or be evicted from their homes.

Terry Halliday, the author of a book about Chinas human rights lawyers, said the lawyers wives had opened up a new path of striving that we have not verified before in China.

These wives have become a really powerful and visible public presence both of criticism of the government, of appeals for the release of their loved-ones but also impugning China in the eyes of “the worlds”. It is remarkable.

Its a whole new front, Halliday added. It is not so easy for the government to stillnes wives and daughters.

Thursdays hearing was part of a pushing by human rights groups to convince the Trump administration to use a statute called the Magnitsky Act to bring sanctions such as traveling proscribes or property seizures against Chinese officials involved in human rights abuses.

We should be seeking to hold accountable any Chinese officials complicit in torturing, human rights abuses and illegal detentions, announced Chris Smith, the Republican congressman who chaired the session and said he was compiling a listing of potential targets.

Smith said he hoped such action were gonna help aim the shocking, offensive, immoral, barbaric and inhumane treatment of Chinese activists that has accelerated since Xi Jinping coming to power in 2012.

While President Xi Jinping experiences feted at Davos and lauded in national capitals for his public commitments to openness, his government is torturing and mistreating those searching privileges guaranteed by Chinas own constitution, Smith announced.

China has repudiated claims of torture against the human rights lawyers it has imprisoned, dismissing such allegations as fake news.

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