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Fifteen Years of Injustice: They Can’t Take it Anymore

Posted by on 2009/07/28. Filed under Opinions. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

From Xu Zhiyong’s Blog
Jul 28, 2009 – 10:53:39 PM

First, I’ll report on Gongmeng’s difficulties. Nothing new these last couple of days, just waiting for the national tax hearing. Thanks to netizens for another donation of a printer and scanner! Thanks to offers of financial support from compatriots in China and Hong Kong! We will announce these at the end of the month. Thanks to Professor Jiang Ming’an, Liu Shen and others from the older generation of administrative law scholars!

Every time I receive a call from Zhu Yanqiang’s mother, I have a heavy feeling of shame.Five years ago I made a promise that I have not yet kept. Yesterday I got another call, asking if there was any good news. She said that Yang Shiliang can’t stand it, that he even wants to commit suicide, he wants his father to find someone to help work it out.

Four young kids from Henan, Chen Guoqing, Yang Shiliang, He Guoqiang, and Zhu Yangqiang, were suspected in 1994 of robbing two taxis and killing the drivers. Over the past 10-plus years they have been sentenced to death five times, but, in the end, the sentence of death was commuted to life imprisonment. In 2004, I started helping with this case. After talking with and interviewing – many, many times — the judges, prosecutors, special investigation team, witnesses to the crime, the defendants themselves, those who reported the crime, and so on, I became firmly convinced of the defendants’ innocence. Thus, I have helped them walk a very slow, long road of appeal. We have organized more than 180 legal professionals, including many prominent scholars, to jointly sign a call for action. We have applied three times to hold demonstrations to protest the Supreme People’s Court’s inaction. We have organized detailed analyses of the case by experts on criminal investigation. We have mobilized members of the National People’s Congress and the CPPCC to raise the case. We put together a group of lawyers to personally investigate other clues to the case. After five years, we have not given up. But there has been no result.

The Supreme People’s Court has authority to directly intervene and review the case, but before starting its review, the Hebei High Court must first reject the defendant’s appeal. But five years have passed and the Hebei High Court has not been willing to issue a document either agreeing to review the case or rejecting the appeal.

Yang Shiliang was originally a truck driver. After being suspected of robbery and murder, he was taken in by the police for questioning three times. He has not been let out since. His wife endured this for 12 years, but could not see any hope and divorced him. Talking with Yang inside the prison, I can sense his anger and despair.

For the last 10-plus years, just about every month his family members have come to Beijing to petition. In 2009, considering that future visits will probably only depress them, I advised them not to come so often. Every time they call on the phone, I feel anguished. I planned to go this July to the Supreme People’s Court to protest, and in advance of my visit, in June, I wrote a letter to a court vice president. But now, because Gongmeng has encountered difficulties, there has been no time to follow up.

They can’t stand it. I also can’t stand the guilt. I think I will agree that they should come to Beijing next week; we must appeal on
their behalf!

July 27, 2009

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