Wife of Detained Chinese Rights Lawyer Seeks Angela Merkel’s Help

Protesters in Hong Kong demanding the release of the rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong in December. Mr. Jiang has been in custody since November, but the Chinese authorities have not disclosed where. Credit Tyrone Siu/Reuters

BEIJING — Last Sunday was the 19th wedding anniversary of Jin Bianling and her husband, the rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong. As usual, the couple spent it apart. Ms. Jin has not seen Mr. Jiang since 2013, when she and their daughter moved to California from China seeking safety from the state harassment that came along with Mr. Jiang’s work.

“We really miss him,” Ms. Jin said by telephone from the United States.

But this year’s anniversary was especially hard, she said.

On Nov. 21, Mr. Jiang went missing. Police officials later confirmed that he was in custody under suspicion of “incitement to subversion of state power,” but they did not disclose his location.

Then, last week, the police released on bail a close associate of Mr. Jiang’s, the human rights lawyer Li Chunfu, in what Mr. Li’s relatives and lawyers said was a confused and frightened condition, occasionally raving or belligerent. Mr. Li had been tortured, they said, and his neck was injured and his mind damaged. He was also administered unknown drugs, they said.

Now, Ms. Jin is deeply concerned her husband might also be abused.

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