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Sichuan woman facing death for resisting domestic violence – appeals from all circles to spare her life

出处:中国beat365下载苹果版_beat365语言设置_Beat365如果验证信息 中国兴善研究所   发布时间:2013-03-01 18:19:57    您是第0位浏览者

27 January 2013 On 25 January 2013 Lawyer Guo Jianmei, head of the Beijing Zhongze Women’s Legal Aid Centre (formerly the Peking University Law School’s Women’s Legal Aid and Service Centre), Professor Ai Xiaoming, National People’s Congress Delegate Lawyer Chi Susheng, Dr. Teng Biao, head of China Against Death Penalty (CADP), Professor Hao Jian, Professor Zhang Zanning and numerous lawyers, scholars, NGO workers and other members of society from all over China jointly signed an open letter calling on the Supreme People’s Court to save the life of Li Yan, who had killed while trying to resist domestic violence.    Review of the case: Wife kills her husband in a fit of rage over long-term domestic violence     Before Li Yan and her husband Tan Yong got married, Tan Yong had already had three failed marriages. In March 2009, Li Yan wed Tan Yong in the face of strong objections from her family; but after the wedding, Tan Yong never corrected his irascible temper, which was given to violent outbursts. He frequently beat and kicked Li Yan and prevented her from having normal interaction with others in her daily life. Li Yan kept enduring the fact of her and her husband’s unemployment and her husband’s long-term violent abuses. On the evening of 3 November 2010, a drunken Tan Yong aimed an air rifle at his wife’s buttocks as she was standing in the kitchen washing up the dishes and threatened to shoot her, after she had prevented him from playing at shooting peanuts. The two of them got into an argument, and Tan Yong kicked Li Yan with his feet. Li Yan then used the rifle to beat Tan Yong, which resulted in his death.        After Tan Yong had died, Li Yan dealt with the body and told someone to call the police. She was detained while waiting for the police to come. In the first and second instance proceedings, the court did not acknowledge the fact that Li Yan had been a victim of domestic violence on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence; and it did not take the fact that she had reported herself into account as a mitigating circumstance. Instead, it sentenced Li Yan to death for committing murder using cruel means and causing serious consequences. This case has now already been reviewed and approved by the Supreme People’s Court! In accordance with law, the Sichuan Province Ziyang Intermediate Court is now required to carry out the death sentence.    Emotional appeal from 340 ordinary locals who signed joint letter pleading mercy for Li Yan After this case had occurred, Sichuan TV conducted an interview with Li Yan and produced a report titled ‘A Woman in a Remarriage.’ When the programme was screened on Sichuan Satellite TV 4, 348 viewers of this report were so shocked and grieved that they voluntarily signed a petition for mercy. They asked the People’s Court to deal with Li Yan leniently even as the judiciary was striking hard against crime, because she had suffered long term domestic abuse and eventually been unable to endure her situation any longer.        Younger brother’s tireless efforts to collect evidence that could save his sister’s life      Li Dehuai is Li Yan’s younger brother and had been among those most resolutely opposed to her marriage to Tan Yong. When he came to understand her plight in her marriage with Tan Yong, he tried to persuade her to get a divorce. After the tragedy had occurred, Li Dehuai tried everything to help her, and he discovered that when Li Yan was taken to the police detention centre, she had not undergone any physical examination; yet, Tan Yong’s fingernail had got stuck in the back of her hand as a result of a previous beating. When learning that these details were never raised during the first and second instance trial, Li Dehuai was very upset, since he thought that this would have been evidence of utmost importance to prove that Li Yan had been a victim of domestic violence. He had very much hoped that the Judge of Ziyang Intermediate Court would examine this piece of evidence carefully before passing punishment. Li Dehuai went to Beijing and various places in Guangdong to seek opinions and assistance from lawyers and judges in this matter. Legal appeal from lawyers arguing that since deceased negligently contributed to the tragedy Li Yan does not deserve the death sentence     As her criminal defence lawyer in first instance, the renowned public interest lawyer Guo Jianmei believes that since the deceased had subjected Li Yan to domestic violence and caused her to suffered terribly over a long time period, Li had come to develop ‘battered woman syndrome.’ Given that Li Yan had killed him in a sudden fit of rage upon being subjected to further violence, Tan Yong’s own wrongdoing clearly contributed to his death, the first and second instance courts’ round denial of the fact of domestic violence for lack of evidence may have led to an unjust verdict in this case.   Teng Biao, head of the Beijing-based group China Against Death Penalty, believes that there was plentiful evidence at first and second instance to prove that Tan Yong had subjected Li Yan to serious and long-term domestic violence. There are records of her appeals made to the Women’s Federation of Anyue County, records of police reports made after Li Yan had suffered violence, and neighbours’ testimonies given to serve as evidence. All of the aforementioned evidence form a complete chain of evidence amounting to conclusive proof of the domestic violence Tan Yong committed against Li Yan. The 1999 ‘Summary of National Seminar on Preserving Rural Stability through Criminal Adjudication’ provides clearly that ‘the death penalty must be applied with greatest caution in cases of intentional homicide that are the result of conflicts amongst the people, such as the flare-up of marital, family, or neighbours’ disputes. Such cases should be treated differently from general cases of intentional homicide [outside the context of special relationships] that seriously threaten public security. The death sentence shall generally not be given where a victim bears direct responsibility for contributing to the worsening of the conflict through his or her own clear wrongdoing.’ If, in sentencing Li Yan, we do not consider the causes and motivations of her conduct; if we do not take into account the evidence in favour of the defendant, and only give consideration to the fact of the killing and subsequent dismembering of the body, this violates not only the Criminal Procedure Law’s rules on evidence but also the policy of ‘The death sentence shall generally not be given where a victim bears direct responsibility for contributing to the worsening of the conflict through his or her own clear wrongdoing.’ It also runs counter to China’s principle of killing sparingly and with caution and violates the international treaty provision requiring that ‘in countries where the death penalty has not been abolished yet the death penalty shall only be imposed as penalty for the most heinous crimes.’       Appeal from all circles: There should be a rigorous investigation into Tan Yong’s history of domestic violence and it should be given full consideration in sentencing; the judiciary should show its respect for the right to life  Li Yan and Tan Yong ought to have had every chance of a happy life, but domestic violence set an end to all this. ‘When the dead are gone, the living must continue on their way forward:’ originally this should have been a consolation we offer to Li Yan. But today Li Yan is facing execution; and her daughter, still a child, who has just lost her father, is now facing the pain of also losing her mother. This is a tragedy resulting from society’s and the law’s failure to give vulnerable persons victimised by domestic violence effective means of redress. It is also a tragedy the justice system has brought about through lack of proper respect for the spirit of the law and for citizens’ right to life. Why would a vulnerable person, a victim like Li Yan need to be executed? Does her death sentence not encourage domestic violence? Gu Kailai, a woman just like Li Yan, used power to plot a murder yet was only sentenced to the death penalty with a two-year reprieve. On the other hand, Li Yan, unable to endure domestic violence any longer, was sentenced to death. How could this be justice? We therefore make this joint appeal, hoping that the Supreme People’s Court will spare this life, reject immediate execution for Li Yan, and remand her case to the first instance court for retrial in order to investigate how she was victimised by domestic violence and how this upset and distorted her physically, mentally and spiritually. We hope that this case can be handled with genuine respect for the truth, the spirit of the law, and the right to life.       25 January 2013       【To join the public appeals:chinacadp@gmail.com 】        【Interview:    郭建梅:13701206159;李彦弟弟:130-3635-3660;    中国兴善研究所:189-3802-6372;135-3011-2348。】             签署人:        1郭建梅(律师,北京)    迟夙生(律师,全国人大代表,黑龙江)    艾晓明(教授,广州)    滕 彪(律师、学者,北京)    郝 建(教授,北京)    浦志强(律师,北京)    李 丹(东珍人权教育中心 北京)    庞 琨(律师,深圳)    张赞宁(律师 教授 东南大学法学院)    黄雪涛(律师,NGO工作者,深圳)        2吴虹飞(歌手,北京)    陆 军(NGO工作者,北京)    姜 珏 (法律学者 香港中文大学)    李方平 (律师 北京)    梁小军(律师,北京)    周 立(教授 浙江大学)    郝劲松(公益维权人士 北京)    刘卫国(律师,济南)    刘 巍(法律工作者,北京)    丁家喜(律师,北京)    (以下略)   

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