Brutal Beating Fractures Lawyer Wang Yonghang's Foot
Name: Wang Yonghang (王永航)
Date of Most Recent Arrest: July 4, 2009
Most recent place of detention: Dalian City Detention Center
City: Dalian City
Province: Liaoning Province
Abuse suffered: Beating
(Clearwisdom.net) Between 20 and 30 police officers arrested lawyer Wang Yonghang at his home in Dalian City, Liaoning Province, on July 4, 2009, and subsequently beat him until the bones in his right foot were fractured. Mr. Wang had defended Falun Gong practitioner Cong Rixu in court. The lawyer's family is demanding his immediate release, but the authorities claim this case involves "state secrets" and refuse to allow Mr. Wang and his family to meet.
Below is a reconstruction of a conversation/consultation between Mr. Wang's wife Ms. Yu Xiaoyan, and Lan Zhixue, a lawyer at the Jiafa Law Firm in Beijing.
Lan: Have you made any recent visits to police departments regarding your husband's case?
Ms. Yu: I have been to different agencies several times. I have spoken to officials at the Dalian City Police Department and also at the Dalian Disciplinary Inspection Committee and to a prosecutor residing at the Dalian City Detention Center [to plead for justice], but I have not heard back from any of them.
Lan: What is Wang Yonghang's current situation? What did they tell you?
Ms. Yu: I went to Jinxiu Neighborhood Area Police Station prior to July 27, 2009, and asked them about my husband. Although they claimed he was in good health, several officers told me my husband had suffered fractured bones in his right foot on July 27, 2009. His captors refused to reveal his exact condition. They promised medical treatment for my husband. When I went to the police station again on August 4, they said he had a comminuted fracture (a fracture in which the bone involved in the fracture is broken into several pieces), and the wound had become infected. He couldn't be treated at the detention center and had to be taken to a large hospital.
I always asked to see my husband. At first they said they would apply for permission, but later said a meeting was not allowed. They told me each time that they were arranging for a meeting and that I must wait patiently. So far, not a single meeting has taken place. I petitioned at a related agency but did not receive any response.
I discovered by chance around the 37th day of my husband's detention that they had taken him to a hospital in Dalian City. He was in serious condition and required surgery, but I was not informed of the surgery nor of the doctor's diagnosis. He underwent surgery the morning of August 11, 2009. They tricked one of my husband's remote cousins into signing the consent form [for hospitalization]. When I confronted them at the station, they claimed they could not find me in time, but I immediately exposed their lies.
Lan: Were you able to see your husband? How is he doing now?
Ms. Yu: I have not seen him since the arrest. My only information is from the police and other officials, yet they contradict each other. At times they told me he was in good health but would later say his condition had deteriorated. I knew he was seriously injured, and his only option was surgery, so I knew it was no superficial matter.
Lan: When did he have a medical exam? What hospital was he taken to? Do you know how he was injured?
Ms. Yu: I know he was examined twice at a large hospital in Dalian on July 5 and August 1, 2009. He was taken back to this hospital on August 10. Police station agents and those from the Domestic Security Division actually knew he had a serious fracture in his right foot after the first examination on July 5, where the doctor suggested immediate surgery. Nevertheless, police officials and Domestic Security Division agents insisted on taking him back to the detention center. According to someone who knows my husband, my husband pointed out the domestic security official who beat him at the detention center; police station agents also beat him at the station.
Lan: Did Wang Yonghang undergo surgery? Why?
Ms. Yu: Yes, he had surgery, but I don't know how it went, or how he has recovered. Because of the cost, agents from the Domestic Security Division and from the Jinxiu Police Station and Detention Center delayed the surgery. They should have notified the family after the first examination, but they only put a plaster cast on him and kept interrogating him, despite his condition. He was not treated at the detention center, as the facility is not able to treat his type of injury. Eventually, his fractured bones became dislocated and infected, the injury got worse, and again this was not addressed. Then he not only needed surgery for the fracture but additional treatment for the infection so that he does not lose the use of his right foot. I saw the x-ray (through the help of our friends). They didn't notify me when my husband underwent surgery and refused to tell me any information about the surgery.
Lan: You are in the medical field. What do you think about his injury? What can you tell from the x-ray?
Ms. Yu: [The x-ray shows] severe comminuted fracture on the right foot and an avulsion fracture (when a ligament or tendon is pulled from a bone) near the Achilles' tendon, as well as serious localized infection of the soft tissues.
Lan: Who gave you the arrest warrant? Did you sign it? What did they say to you?
Ms. Yu: I received an arrest warrant issued for my husband around 4:00 p.m. on August 11, 2009. The warrant said Dalian City Procuratorate approved my husband's arrest at 3:00 p.m. on August 10, 2009. Police officer Tan Yuhao gave it to me. Jiao Jian and Chen Xin from Dalian City Domestic Security Division handled the case, as well as Tan Yuhao from Jinxiu Police Station, whose police badge number is 205280. I refused to sign the arrest document.
Lan: It's apparent that police station and detention center officials will not let a lawyer meet with Wang Yonghang. They can plead "state secrets" to turn down the lawyer's requests to meet him.
Ms. Yu: We didn't have anywhere to turn for justice after my husband was severely injured. Lawyers' requests were denied and we did not get to see him. I agree with you.
Lan: You can file a lawsuit as his wife. You can sue the agencies, police station, and officials suspected of torture, and you can request attention and aid from the media and the public, because this is a basic human right.
Ms. Yu: I know. No one has responded to my requests at the Dalian City Police Department, the Dalian Disciplinary Inspection Committee, or the prosecutor at Dalian City Detention Center.
Lan: If you agree, I want to post our conversation on my blog. It has nothing to do with your husband's case itself, and it is not leaking the case. If we couldn't even expose the beating or torture an ordinary citizen has suffered, I wouldn't consider myself a human being. Although we do not yet have firsthand evidence to prove that your husband's injury is the result of police brutality, we have enough circumstantial evidence to suspect use of force, such as their failing to notify you with the surgery consent form, not allowing a lawyer to meet with Mr. Wang, the unwillingness of those involved to reveal their names, and the fact that the injury occurred inside the police facilities. In addition, you have his x-ray. We also have the right to demand a thorough investigation and the prosecution of those responsible. Prior to the investigation, the personnel handling the case should immediately halt their investigation of Wang Yonghang's case.
Ms. Yu: Thank you for your consultation. I agree, and I ask that you file a lawsuit on my behalf.