China: Detained Rights Lawyer Interrogated About Sex Life

In the past few months, more than a hundred human right lawyers, activists, writers and artists have been arrested or prosecuted in China as a result of the crackdown of the Jasmine protests. Although a number of them have been released, most have kept silent about what happened during their arrest.

Now, after three months in detention, Shanghai lawyer Li Tiantian (@litiantian) has broken the silence on Twitter. In a series of tweets from May 27-28, 2011, she describes how national security police abused knowledge of her intimate relationships as part of their campaign to instigate fear among activists and opinion leaders.

The unspoken fear

On May 26, Tiantian tweeted:

@litiantian: 5月24号,我出院了。谢谢大家的关心,晚了2天才上网通知大家很抱歉。看了大家对我的关心,感觉很温暖。未未的事情我在里面就知道了,很难过,希望他早日平安出来。

I was released from hospital on May 24, thank you for all your concern and sorry that I am two days late getting back online. I feel so touched after reading all your heartfelt messages. I heard about the arrest of Ai Weiwei when I was detained, I feel very sad and hope he will be safe at home as soon as possible.

On May 27, she wrote:

@litiantian: 能说出的恐惧还是小恐惧,不敢说的恐惧才是大恐惧,给猫说好话的老鼠一定内心受到了特大恐惧的袭击,我想很可能是这样。就像有的人会爱上让他她怕的人,可能。人性很复杂,好在是人都想摆脱恐惧。这才是我们努力的重点,比较人与人对待恐惧的不同反应没有什么意思,可能。

The kind of fear that you can describe is small, while the kind of fear you can't speak of is the greatest. The mouse that praises the cat must be extremely afraid, I think. Just like some people will fall in love with the person he or she is afraid of, perhaps. Human psychology is complex, the good thing is that we all want to get rid of fear, and this is why we struggle. To compare different people's responses to fear won't solve the problem.

@litiantian: 有时候想,人在生活中总会遇到风险,比如车祸,比如癌症,与政府较劲也会死人,但车祸,癌症,政治迫害,到底哪种风险死亡率更高呢?我们是不是对风险低的事情过于胆小,对风险大的事情过于胆大了?

Life is full of risk, such as car accidents, cancer and confronting the government. However, which of the three – car accident, cancer or political prosecution – is more risky in terms of death? Aren't we too scared about relatively low risk endeavors, while too bold about high risk activities?

@litiantian: 我出来的时候人是飘着的,走路走不稳,身体好象没有重量不是自己的。被回新疆下飞机后给男朋友打电话才知道警察找过他好多次,还找他单位,找他哥哥姐姐,要求他与我分手,写下分手的东西,我男朋友不写,说不行你们可以把我也关进去,就是别逼我,你们有本事把李天天毙了,我也不会写那样的东西的。

When I was released, I felt myself flowing through the air. I walked as though I were weightless. After I was escorted back to Xinjiang, I called my boyfriend, and only at that point did I know that he had been visited by police many times. They even visited his company, and spoke to his sisters and brothers, asking them to demand that he should break up with me and write a separation letter. My boyfriend refused to write it, and told them they would have to jail him as well. He said even if you shot TianTian dead, I would not write such a thing.

Interrogation on sexual affairs

@litiantian: 我进去以后,他们还搜了我与男朋友住的房子。所有的东西搜了一遍。我出来才知道。还逼我男朋友看我与其他人开过房的录像,还让他哥哥姐姐。

After I was detained, they searched my apartment and my boyfriend's apartment. They searched everything. They even forced my boyfriend and his brothers and sisters to watch a video that showed me walking into a hotel with other men.

@litiantian: 我与谁开房,估计我男朋友都不想关心的问题,警察先关心了。他们先找到男方做了笔录,录的很细,谁出的钱,谁先提议去开房,做了几次,谁先挑逗的谁,要求我说的越细越好。

Even my boyfriend had no interest to know who I was having sex with. The police showed more concern. They identified the guys and wanted to document details like, who paid for the hotel? Who suggested to have sex? How many times? Who seduced who? They asked me to give all these details.

@litiantian: 因为他们实在想知道开房在床上的细节,而我又有点忘了,为满足他们,我善良地说:你们实在想知道,把那些男人叫过来,我可以在你们面前再表演一遍给你们看。但他们说一定没有三级片好看,就没有允许。

Since they really wanted to know the details and I was forgetful, I offered: If you really want to know, you can invite all these guys here, and I can do it all over again for your records. They said it wouldn't be as good as an adult video and did not authorise it.

@litiantian: 真不好意思把这些涉性的 内容写出来,但不写心里更憋屈。 虽然当时甚至是开着玩笑配合警察做那些涉性的调查笔露的,但内心还是有很深的羞辱感。像是被人拳打脚踢,我还必须笑着说打得不痛一样,无奈,无助,恐惧感还是很强。

I feel embarrassed to write about sex, but I would suffer more if I don't speak out. During the interrogation, I even made some jokes about it, but deep down I was so ashamed, as if I was beaten but kept smiling and saying that I didn't feel the pain. So helpless. The sense of fear is still very strong.

@litiantian: 好在,我没有在警察面前掉过一滴眼泪,也没有让自己的情绪失控过。当我说你们不给我请律师,不在你们笔录上填写询问人记录人的名字,我就再不给你们笔录上签一个名字,警察说你是想挨打吗?站起身走到了我跟前要打我,我说我也许会咬下你的耳朵或脖子,他上来就抓住了我头发,拿起餐巾纸盒要打我。

Fortunately, I did not shed a tear in front of the police. I did not lose self-control. When I said, if you don't give me a lawyer, I won't sign my name on the testimony document, the police asked if I wanted to be beaten. The officer stood up in front of me and wanted to beat me. I said be careful, I will bite your ear and neck. He grabbed my hair and threatened to hit me with a tissue box.

@litiantian: 警察抓着我头发拿着金属盒要打未打的时候,我马上说:真打呀,知道了,怕你们了,我配合你们,不要求什么了,你可真有男人味,吓的要我要尿裤子了。我真的那时候就感觉必须要去卫生间了。警察继续说,在不配合就上手烤,关铁笼子,把警棍拿出来。还让看守我的人对我不要客气,该打就打。

Before the officer hit me with the box, I said: you are really going to hit me. I get it, I am scared. I will be cooperative and won't demand anything. You are so manly, I am going to piss and wet my pants. I really needed to go to the toilet. The officer said he would handcuff me and lock me in a cage if I would not cooperate. He took out a police rod and told the guard to hit me if necessary.

@litiantian: 我在里面努力调整自己的心态才没有疯,快发疯的感觉也出现过七八次。 —–不就是没有窗吗?想想饿死的,文革死的人,我这算什么?就这样安慰自己才没有疯的。

I tried very hard to adjust my mind from going crazy. There were 7-8 times that I almost broke down. — well, no windows is just a minor problem. Just think about those who died in the cultural revolution, what I am facing now is nothing. This is how I comforted myself to stop my mind from breaking down.

Instigating fear through sexual insults

@litiantian: 他们说,你的要求还真不少,一次不够还两次。我说:我不是40多岁的女人吗?不是有30岁如何,40岁如何的说法吗?再说你们上海男人就这么点事总是做不好,在床上只要不自私,这些事情很容易做好的,因为做的不好才要第二次的呀。知道你们上海女人为什么很作吗?就是男人很笨很自私,让女人不满足。

They said: you have strong sexual desire, once is not enough, you need twice at a time? I answered: I am a woman in my 40s. There is a saying about [the lust of] women in their 30s and 40s, right? Moreover, Shanghai guys are not good at this. If men are not selfish, sex can be easy. But when they perform badly, they have to do it again. Do you know why Shanghai women are so bossy? Because Shanghai guys are stupid and selfish, they can't satisfy a woman. [Translator note: the security police were Shanghai men]

@litiantian: 以前的调查都是两或者三个警察,调查涉性的这次,他们要看守我的两个人也进入审讯室,一男一女,4人听着我说性事,那感觉真不舒服。他们说你的要求这样强烈,那这段时间你还不憋死,我说是呀,所以快放我出去呀。

Usually there were only two or three police officers questioning me. This time, when the subject was sex, they asked two additional guards, one male and one female, to enter the interrogation room. There were a total of four people asking me about my sex life. I felt very bad. They said: you are so horny, you must be dying to have sex now. I answered yes, let me out now.

@litiantian: 开过房的其中一人,我随便带了点新疆干果给他,连这个他们都调查了,当然他们还主要调查了我有没有与这些男人说茉莉花的事情。我说:送两带干果你们不会按性交易处理我吧。

Once I brought some dried fruit to one of my sex partners. They had this in their investigation. They also knew if I had discussed the Jasmine protest with these men. I asked, you won't consider the dried fruit a sexual transaction, will you?

Looking for social connections

@litiantian: 警察要我写了我在网上都认识什么人,一共有不到30个吧。包括去北海认识能记住名字的。怎么认识,有什么样的来往,他们要求1,我都写到了2的详细程度。他们表示满意。特别要求我写了与未未,刘晓原,滕彪的交彪的交往情况。我也写了,一切实话实说。

The police asked me to write down who I got to know through the Internet. There were about 30 names that I wrote down, including those whom I met in Beihai. They asked me exactly how I knew them and how we communicated. I had to write down all these details. They were satisfied. They asked me in particular to write down details about Ai Weiwei, Liu Xiaoyuan and Tien Biao. I wrote down all the facts that I know.

@litiantian: 上飞机前警察把解除监视居住决定书给了我,顺便说你就撕掉吧,我没撕。去登机口路上我说你喜欢你的工作吗?他说要养家糊口呀。我说你真不容易。希望你保卫的政府长命百岁,一定要长命百岁呀,否则我找你麻烦,就像你找我麻烦一样。过了检票口向他挥下手,他还在给我拍录像,留作确实送走了我的证据。

Before I boarded the plane, the police officer gave me the release-document and asked me to tear it into pieces. I did not do so. I asked him if he liked his job on the way to the plane. He said he had to do it to feed his family. I said that must be difficult and that I hoped the government they were protecting would have a long life or else he would face the same kind of trouble I am facing now. After I checked in, I waved to him. He was filming me on video as evidence that he escorted me to the plane.


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