Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, disappeared by the authorities on April 3, is reported to have confessed to charges of tax evasion after being tortured in custody, according to an article published in a Chinese human rights journal.
The details of the case, said to have been leaked by “an official with conscience in the Ministry of Public Security,” were published on April 21 EST in a text titled “The Alarming Conspiracy Behind Ai Weiwei’s Torture and Confession,” dated April 19, in the biweekly journal of the NGO Human Rights in China (HRIC). The article claims to be written by an anonymous Xinhua journalist and was in the “Letters from China” section.
The text says that Fu Zhenghua, Director of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, instructed Ai’s captors to show him the video of the torture of Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who was targeted by the authorities after writing letters in protest of the persecution of Falun Gong.
The video showing Gao being tortured, “included electric batons being inserted into Gao’s anus, and his blood, semen, feces, and urine draining out,” a translation of the first paragraph of the article says.
Fu Zhenghua ordered that security forces do the same things to Ai Weiwei, to “make him do what we want him to do.” The text says that, after being tortured for several days, Ai signed a confession.
Ai’s case is being handled by the Economic Investigation General Unit and the Domestic Security Team of the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau, the article says.
He Qinglian, a commentator on Chinese social and political issues, believes the reports of torture are credible. “I had thought about that when he was first detained,” she told Radio Free Asia in an interview. “You have to realize that he is the only one who dares to mock the authoritarian regime.”
When Ai’s older sister Gao Ge saw the news, RFA reports, she said “I cannot let my mother see.”
She had no way of knowing the truth of the report, she said; they are going to ask the authorities to clarify the matter.
The journal’s editorial policy says that they welcome submissions from a wide variety of sources. HRIC did not comment to The Epoch Times on whether they believe the article by the alleged Xinhua reporter to be credible or not.
UPDATE: HRIC published a statement affirming that, "the information comes from an article submitted by a writer using an alias from mainland China," and that "this is not HRIC’s reporting."