Wednesday, August 23, 2017

West’s Accusation of Unfair Trials in China Outdated
Global Times
Published: 2017/8/23 0:37:19

On Tuesday morning, Jiang Tianyong, a former Beijing lawyer, stood trial at the Changsha Intermediate People's Court on the charge of inciting subversion of State power. He confessed that he deliberately fabricated details about the alleged torture of Xie Yang, another former lawyer, while Xie was in police detention.

But many of the media focused their reporting on Jin Bianling, Jiang's wife. Jin, who is currently in the US, claimed that "Even if Jiang pleads guilty in court, that will certainly be under torture unimaginable to ordinary people." Those foreign media used Jin's statements to discredit the trial.

This is a usual scene of some Western media attacking China's rule of law. Since July 9 2015, when some lawyers from Beijing Fengrui Law Firm were detained and investigated, the Western media has been accusing China of suppressing rights lawyers. Even before that, they had denounced cases when dissidents were held accountable for their actions by law.

It is common sense that every criminal will feel compelled when standing in the dock. They may be shown leniency if they plead guilty. It is common practice all over the world, such as in the US.

In Chinese courts, it is deemed normal when other defendants plead guilty. But when it comes to dissidents, some Western media outlets prefer to believe that they were forced to plead guilty or even suffered torture.

We do not know the details of Jiang's case, but we do know that in today's China, confession under duress is quite a serious matter, especially using torture on high-profile suspects, as those handling the case are betting on their personal prospects.

Using torture on a suspect who may face an open trial is particularly risky, because the suspect can raise the issue during the trial, which prosecutors cannot bear. Meanwhile, if he was tortured, the public would be able to sense this from his appearance and manner. But Jiang did not show any signs of this.

The West should stop its outdated accusations of China using torture to force dissidents to confess. Those dissidents who zealously worship the Western political system and confront the Chinese political system are not as "determined" as they appear. When they create waves, they only think about their own interests. But when they are to be held accountable by law, they resort to confession right away to get a lighter sentence.

China has a powerful political system and a powerful legal system. Some radical forces within the country want to play tricks with Western support so as to make a reputation for themselves.

The rule of law is developing in China. Challenging China's basic political system under the name of law is nothing but a joke.

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