Family Concerned for Attorney Wang Yonghang's Welfare in Prison (Photo)
Name: Wang Yonghang (王永航)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 4, 2009
Most recent Place of Detention: Ward 18 of Shenyang No. 1 Prison (沈阳第一监狱十八监区)
Persecution Suffered: Illegal sentencing, beatings, imprisonment, solitary confinement, denied visitation
Key Persecutors: Li Shiguang, Peng Li, Liu Changers
(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of October 11, 2010, several inmates were incited by prison guards to viciously beat Mr. Wang Yonghang, a lawyer from Dalian City who stands for justice. Among the guards who instigated the beatings were Li Shiguang, Peng Li, and Liu Chang. The following morning, Mr. Wang was beaten again. He was then placed in solitary confinement in a Small Cell for further mental and physical torture.
After numerous requests, his family eventually saw him at the prison on November 19. However, they grew even more concerned as the prison authorities refused to admit that Mr. Wang had been beaten. The prison authorities' denial cast a shadow on Mr. Wang's family members, who worry about the unrestrained abuse he has to endure.
Mr. Wang Yonghang, a lawyer from Dalian City
Upon learning about the continuous beatings, abusive confinement, and the denial of family visits, telephone calls, and daily necessities, Mr. Wang's wife, Ms. Yu Xiaoyan, got worried. She kept calling the Prison Affairs Section to demand an investigation into the beatings and the punishment of anyone responsible for these illegal acts. Officials at the Prison Affairs Section confirmed that Mr. Wang was indeed beaten, then held in solitary confinement, and that the prison authorities were paying serious attention to the matter and would definitely provide Mr. Wang's family a conclusive response. They also asked the Wang family to write down their demands and send it in to the Prison Affairs Section of the No. 1 Prison.
The family followed their instructions, listed their demands, and sent out the letter via express mail on October 15. On October 28, when Mr. Wang's family called the Prison Affairs Section to inquire, they were told that their express mail had been received and that a response would be forthcoming. The official who answered the phone call also wrote down the family's contact phone number.
Three weeks passed, and there was no response, so the family called again. This time, however, they were told Mr. Wang was never beaten. Instead, the official kept asking how they heard about the beatings.
Facing the prison officials' inaction, the Wang family went to the Chengjiao Procuratorate in Shenyang City, demanding to visit Mr. Wang in the Shenyang No. 1 Prison. The procurator who met with them agreed to their demands and told them he would make immediate arrangements so they could go visit Mr. Wang. Later, the family learned that Mr. Wang's solitary confinement had ended, so visitation could take place.
At around 9:00 a.m. on November 19, after an overnight trip, Ms. Yu and her mother arrived at Shenyang No. 1 Prison to ask for a meeting with Mr. Wang. The prison guards asked them to fill out a visitation form. It was stated on the form that Mr. Wang Yonghang's ID number was 3881 in the No. 18 Ward. This was the first time such a form had been processed. Earlier, the family was told no visitation forms were processed for any Falun Gong practitioners' families. A young female guard (badge number 2101506) called the No. 18 Ward. However, word came back from the ward that no visitation was allowed. When the family asked why, the guard said she did not know. The family wanted her to contact the Prison Affairs Section on their behalf, but the guard not only refused to make contact, she even refused to give out the section's telephone number. The family told her that procurators at the Chengjiao Procuratorate had confirmed that visitation was allowed and challenged the prison's arbitrary decision, but the guard insisted that this had nothing to do with her.
The family tried to contact the Prison Affairs Section and then the Procurator's Office in the prison. They were told to ask for Director Sun of the Procurator's Office. After some inquiry, Ms. Yu and her mother were told they could meet with Mr. Wang. They waited in the registration room till around 11:00 a.m. After repeatedly asking whether each visitor was a Falun Gong practitioner or not, and making them promise to talk only in Mandarin and avoid speaking any dialects, the authorities allowed only Mr. Wang's mother-in-law to visit him. His wife, Ms. Yu, was forbidden to see him on the grounds that she was a Falun Gong practitioner.
When Mr. Wang's mother-in-law saw him, he appeared fatigued and malnourished. She was quite worried and asked whether he had been beaten, why he did not call home, and if two inmates serving terms on criminal charges were monitoring and abusing him. She asked these questions because she had learned from someone who worked in the prison that guards would assign inmates to monitor Falun Gong practitioners. These inmates would be held responsible and punished if practitioners refused to do what the prison authorities wanted. Through this scheme, the prison authorities could easily coerce inmates to enforce rules by resorting to violence in an attempt to avoid being held directly responsible for these brutal, illegal acts.
As Mr. Wang's mother-in-law could only talk to him over the phone, which was monitored by a guard, Mr. Wang replied that he was not being beaten and was allowed to sleep and eat. The telephone was broken and could not be used to call home. The number of inmates monitoring him was much more than two.
The elderly mother-in-law could not understand if Mr. Wang was being treated as well as the prison authorities claimed and why were there were so many people assigned to keep an eye on him. Those who were in charge of transforming him to try to get him to give up his belief in Falun Gong avoided giving their names. Sometimes it was said the person's surname was Luo, sometimes it was said his surname was Yan. Sometimes they denied anyone was beating Mr. Wang, sometimes they claimed inmates often beat practitioners. They even asked the elderly lady to lie to Mr. Wang and tell him that his wife had stopped practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Yu and her mother left the prison in Shenyang City worried and with a lot of questions.
Mr. Wang Yonghang, 37, was formerly an attorney at Qianjun Law Office in Liaoning Province. He had provided legal assistance to Falun Gong practitioners several times since 2007. In May 2008, he published an open letter addressed to top leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao regarding his wife's arrest by the Shanghai police. He pointed out the unlawful nature of sentencing practitioners to prison and demanded the authorities correct the decisions that have been carried out since 1999 and to release all Falun Gong practitioners. In his open letter, entitled The Big Mistake of Past Calls for the Prompt Correction and Addressing Consequences, Mr. Wang pointed out the fatal legal flaw of applying Article 300 of the Criminal Law to Falun Gong practitioners on the grounds of organiz[ing] and utiliz[ing] superstitious sects, secret societies, and evil religious organizations or sabotag[ing] the implementation of the state's laws and executive regulations by utilizing superstition. He appealed to the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Supreme People's Court to pay some respect to the law. As a result, the law firm where he worked terminated his employment under pressure. His attorney certification was taken away and held by the authorities.
On June 16, 2009, Mr. Wang defended Falun Gong practitioner Cong Rixu in court, speaking out for the practitioner's innocence. The Chinese Communist Party was infuriated for the second time. On July 4, 2009, the police arrested him. According to sources within the police system, this arrest was ordered by Zhou Yongkang, China's highest official in charge of law and order and a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo. Mr. Wang had been under surveillance and photographed prior to his arrest. His wife, Ms. Yu Xiaoyan, was also arrested. The police also violently threatened and intimated Mr. Wang's mother, who was nearly 80 years old. After the arrest, the police beat him until the bones in his right foot were fractured. Because of delayed treatment, the fracture caused a serious infection. On August 10, he was taken to a hospital for an operation. State security officers were stationed in the hospital to monitor him, and his wife was not allowed to visit him. On November 27, 2009, Mr. Wang was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was taken to the Shenyang No. 1 Prison in Liaoning Province on April 12, 2010.
December 18, 2010