Committee Reports

Letter Concerning the Disappearance and Apparent Detention of Chinese Lawyer Jiang Tianyong


City Bar President John Kiernan wrote to the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China to raise grave concerns regarding the recent disappearance of prominent weiquan (rights defense) lawyer Jiang Tianyong.  The letter, drafted by the International Human Rights Committee (Anil Kalhan, Chair), urged the People’s Republic of China to immediately confirm his location and safety and provide him with access to counsel while calling on the Chinese government to take steps to ensure that lawyers in China are free to carry out their professional obligation without intimidation, hindrance, harassment, or improper interference. Mr. Jiang has taken on a number of high profile cases, including those of Tibetan protesters, victims of the 2008 contaminated milk powder incident, and Falun Gong practitioners. He also helped to defend fellow lawyers Gao Zhisheng and Chen Guangcheng, but his license was revoked because of his politically sensitive work in 2009. Since that time, he has been involved in legal advocacy on a range of human rights issues.  Members of the City Bar met with Mr. Jiang during a visit to China in 2009.  The arbitrary disappearance of Mr. Jiang and the failure of authorities to provide him with access to family members and legal counsel violate basic rule of law principles and provisions of China’s domestic law.