(Minghui.org) For years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been talking about implementing the "rule of law" in China and improving lawyers' rights. However, the Party's words rarely, if ever, match their actions. A recent case in point occurred during March 21 and April 6, 2014, when police arrested and tortured four Chinese lawyers for exercising their constitutional rights.

Their “crime” consisted of protesting in front of the Qinglongshan Brainwashing Center, officially known as the “Jiansanjiang Farm Legal Education Center,” in Heilongjiang Province, calling for the release of dozens of illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners who were being tortured inside.

Family members of the practitioners hired Jiang Tianyong and Tang Jitian, two well-known lawyers in China, to call for the unconditional release of the practitioners. The two lawyers had visited the brainwashing center and informed the authorities there that they had no legal right to detain the practitioners and that they would be held accountable for their actions. However, the center completely ignored the lawyers' warnings.

As a result the lawyers, the families, and local practitioners had no choice but to protest outside the gate of the center on March 20, 2014 and demand the immediate release of the incarcerated practitioners. Fang Yuechun, the director of the center, didn't respond.

The next day, the Jiansanjiang police department arrested seven practitioners and the four lawyers at the hotel, where they were meeting to discuss additional plans to rescue practitioners detained in the brainwashing center.

An officer threatened Mr. Tang, saying that his kidney might be surgically removed before burying him alive.

When news of the lawyer's plight spread, other lawyers and citizens began to gather outside of the center and later started a hunger strike. On March 29, lawyer Wang Quanzhang was taken into custody and forced to wear a black hood, while police brutally beat him and smashed his head against a brick wall.

Jiansanjiang authorities quickly went into damage control by closing all roads leading to the center. They implemented strict curfews and took curious bystanders into custody.

Some officers were reportedly heard shouting, “We hope all of you lawyers starve to death!” and “The Party is definitely capable of keeping you lawyers in line!”

Instead of investigating the lawyers' claims against the brainwashing center, the police wantonly persecuted the lawyers and those who had accompanied them, even though they were acting within their constitutional rights to expose the crimes committed by the center.

It makes one wonder how the CCP can brazenly boast that China is currently enjoying “the best period of rule of law and human rights.”