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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Freed China dissident Yang Maodong was tortured in custody, say rights groups

Posted by Author on September 14, 2011

A Chinese dissident writer who was freed this week after five years in jail for alleged illegal business activities has said he was wrongly imprisoned and subjected to treatment “beyond people’s imagination”.

Yang Maodong said the charges against him were trumped up and that during his time in custody his interrogators questioned him only about his pro-democracy activities, and not business matters.

“I am innocent,” he said. “It’s a political case and I was called a political prisoner in the places where I was detained. All of this is political persecution of me because I promoted democracy.”

Arrested in September 2006 and sentenced in November 2007, Yang was released from prison on Tuesday. The writer’s advocacy group, International PEN, has said Yang was targeted for writing the book Shenyang Political Earthquake, which allegedly exposed official corruption in a north-eastern province.

Human rights groups have said Yang, also known as Guo Feixiong, was tortured by police in his home province of Guangdong and in Shenyang, and was mistreated in prison in Guangdong.

The New York-based advocacy group Human Rights in China said Yang was interrogated for 13 days and nights without sleep, tied to a wooden bed for 42 days with his arms and legs shackled, and hung from the ceiling by his arms and legs while police electrocuted his genitals with a high-voltage baton. At the Meizhou prison in Guangdong, he was beaten by an inmate while 200 others watched, it said.

The group quoted Yang’s wife, Zhang Qing, who now lives in the US, as saying that police in Guangzhou and Shenyang “tortured him by using abominable measures”.

Yang declined to describe his treatment by authorities. “The only thing I can tell you is that I was given special treatment beyond people’s imagination in the detention centre in Liaoning and in prison,” he said. “I don’t want to talk about it in detail. I want to convey a message of forgiveness to the public and not to talk about hatred.”

An official at Meizhou prison who refused to give his name said the prison did not comment on individual cases.

Yang was previously arrested in 2005 for helping villagers in Guangdong who were seeking to unseat local officials accused of corruption. Yang wrote several articles posted on the internet about their plight. He also said he was beaten outside a police station in the area in February 2006.

The Guardian

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