May 9 (UPI) -- A Chinese human rights lawyer who recently underwent trial said he was "brainwashed" in Hong Kong and South Korea, according to a Chinese court proceeding transcripts.
Xie Yang, 45, who has been in detention since July 2015 after representing activists and land-grab victims, may have been tortured while in custody, according to his wife and Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a U.S.-based charity organization.
Xie's wife, Chen Guiqiu, said lengthy interrogations, sleep deprivation, beatings and death threats may have compelled Xie to "confess" to subversive acts against the state.
According to transcripts of the court proceedings, the lawyer said he was responsible for "misleading the public" and for engaging in "brainwashing" training sessions in Hong Kong and South Korea, where he learned "wrong ideas such as Western constitutionalism," the South China Morning Post reported.
The transcripts stated Xie said he was introduced to the idea of "overthrowing the existing system and achieving Western constitutionalism in China."
The Hong Kong-based China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group reportedly organized the session in South Korea.
China's court transcripts stated the event in Korea was "organized by the Hong Kong government to study South Korea's judicial system."
Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the lawyers group in Hong Kong, said the organization often hosts exchanges with mainland rights lawyers like Xie.
Ho said the claim the Hong Kong government sponsored the trip is "problematic."
Xi has been charged with "inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order," according to the BBC.