Statement by the Spokesperson on the cases of several human rights defenders in China
We are aware of recent information regarding the serious mistreatment of detained human rights lawyers Li Heping, Wang Quanzhang and Xie Yang. If verified, this mistreatment would amount to torture.
In its December 2015 review of China, the UN Committee Against Torture had expressed serious concern over reports about the practice of torture and ill-treatment in China's criminal justice system.
The European Union expects that the competent authorities in China will investigate, without delay, the account of torture in the case of Xie Yang and the allegations of torture in the cases of Li Heping and Wang Quanzhang. Pursuant to Article 18 of China's Criminal Procedure Law, if the accounts of mistreatment or torture are confirmed, this should result in the punishment of the responsible persons. In the meantime, all necessary measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these individuals need to be taken.
The release of human rights lawyers Xie Yanyi and Li Chunfu is a positive step. We reiterate our call for the release of the lawyers and human rights defenders who remain in detention, including Jiang Tianyong.