GENEVA — Four U.N. human rights experts are urging China to release a prominent lawyer and rights defender who may have been forced into making a televised “confession” that he sought the overthrow of China’s political system.

The experts say Jiang Tianyong’s so-called confession on Aug. 22 amounts to “a worrying sign of China’s disregard for due process and the rule of law.”

They said they were “gravely concerned that his confession may have been coerced by the use of torture” in practices that would violate international standards and China’s own laws.

Jiang was arrested in November. The experts say he has been kept at an unknown location for at least nine months.

They said Wednesday his alleged crime “apparently included communications with foreign entities,” possibly including U.N. agencies and the media.

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