On August 12, Cheng Hao, brother of Cheng Yuan, the detained Changsha legal advocate, posted a statement (see below) on Twitter about his interrogation by the police of Zhonghuamen police station in Nanjing on August 8, on suspicion of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” (寻衅滋事).
Cheng Hao was questioned about the basis for, and the contents and authenticity of, the Twitter posts he previously sent out about his brother’s case, and why he did not file a complaint or lawsuit instead. Cheng Hao responded that since Cheng Yuan’s alleged offense was “subversion of state power” (颠覆国家政权), “state power,” as the alleged victim, in accordance with the law, has an interest in the case. And because the Hunan Provincial Department of State Security, which is currently handling Cheng Yuan’s case, is part of “state power,” he has to seek remedies through channels other than those in the state power system.
The police also asked him if he had thought about the risk of other people distorting or misusing his articles and the media interviews he had given. Cheng Hao said that he is willing to speak out as long as people are willing to listen, and that liability rests with the person who distorts his information. But just in case, he included a statement in this post to reserve his right to hold anyone who distorts information he provides responsible.
Cheng Yuan, a co-founder of an NGO, was seized and held in custody on July 22, 2019, by the Changsha Municipal Bureau of State Security for “subversion of state power.” Cheng Hao has been making efforts to appeal for his brother.
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