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Archive for the ‘Guo Feixiong’ Category

China: Tortured Rights Defender is Denied Access to Lawyer

Posted by Author on November 4, 2008


Human Rights in China, November 03, 2008-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄, also known as Yang Maodong, 杨茂东), who was tortured by prison authorities and brutally beaten by an inmate, has been denied access to his lawyer. Guo is serving a five-year sentence in Meizhou Prison, Guangdong Province, and intends to appeal his conviction and file a complaint against the prison authorities. Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing (张青), told HRIC that on October 20, Guo’s Beijing-based lawyer, Hu Xiao (胡啸), after traveling more than 1,000 miles to Meizhou prison, was not permitted to see Guo.

“Guo Feixiong was convicted on the basis of confession obtained through torture,” said Sharon Hom, executive director of HRIC. “In several days, the UN Committee Against Torture will review China’s compliance with its international treaty obligations against the use of torture. HRIC calls on the Chinese authorities to take the first step toward giving Guo a fair trial by allowing him immediate access to his appeal lawyer.”

Before his imprisonment, Guo had worked as a legal advisor and, in 2005, helped the villagers of Taishi in Guangdong to remove their corrupt village chief. In September 2006, he was detained on the charge of “illegal business activity” and was held for 15 months before being tried in November 2007. He was subjected to many acts of torture during detention, including being:

* Interrogated for 13 consecutive days and nights without sleep,

* Tied down to a wooden bed for 42 days with his arms and legs shackled,

* Hung from the ceiling by his arms and legs while the police electrocuted his genitals with a high voltage baton……. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Activist, China, Freedom of Speech, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Torture, World | Comments Off on China: Tortured Rights Defender is Denied Access to Lawyer

China: Jailed Activist’s Children Rejected For Admission by Public Schools

Posted by Author on July 6, 2008


By Zhang Min, Radio Free Asia (RFA), via the Epochtimes, Jun 30, 2008-

CHINA—Recently, Human rights defender Guo Feixiong’s daughter and son were rejected for admission by the public schools. Guo’s wife said that in the past, the police had threatened that her children would not be able to attend school.

Guo’s wife Zhang Qing, applied for admission to an elementary school and a middle school for her son Yang Tiance, and daughter Yang Tianjiao, respectively. Yet, both requests were turned down by school administrators. Ms. Zhang is making an urgent appeal to the public to help her children into school.

(Photo: Guo Feixiong, photo taken in 2006, after being beaten up by the police. (photo provided by Guo’s friend)

Zhang Qing said in an RFA interview conducted on June 25, “Yesterday I was shocked to learn that Yang Tianjiao was rejected [by the school authorities]. I was really shocked and this is mind-boggling. I think this requires immediate attention. Last year Yang Tiance was after all still little, so basically I was able to handle him at home. However, Yang Tianjiao cannot stay at home.”

Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong), is a lawyer and human rights defender who participated in the Taishi village protest incident in Guangdong Province and the rescue effort to free rights defense attorney Gao Zhisheng.

Held Without Bail

The regime accused Guo of being involved in the publication of a magazine called “Shengyang’s Political Earthquake” five years ago, which exposed the corruption of Shenyang officials.

The case was reopened and he was arrested in September 2006. Before Guo was sentenced, the court had rejected his case twice, asking the police to further investigate due to insufficient evidence. Guo was formally charged in November 2007 with running an “illegal business operation,” (i.e., publishing the aforementioned magazine) and sentenced to five years imprisonment and fined 40,000 yuan (approximately US$ 5,700).

Tortured While in Custody

When his lawyer visited Guo in the detention center, Guo told him that the police brutally tortured him, including shocking his genitals with an electric baton.

Zhang said, “When Guo Feixiong met with his lawyer on November 23, he mentioned that authorities had threatened him five or six times, and some of the threats have already been actualized. One of them is, “We will not let your son attend elementary school, and neither will we let your daughter attend middle school.”

Last year when her son was supposed to attend elementary school, the school authorities firmly rejected their request.

Natural Right

“What I can do now is to write public letters to government leaders and several organizations. Even if it doesn’t work, I will still continue to write [to them].”

Zhang added, “Going to school is a natural right for a child. I hope that people from all circles and just-minded media call for people’s attention on my behalf.”

– From the Epochtimes: Jailed Activist’s Children Rejected by Schools

Posted in Children, China, Education, Family, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, Social, Student, World | Comments Off on China: Jailed Activist’s Children Rejected For Admission by Public Schools

Detained China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Hunger Strike For Nearly 80 Days

Posted by Author on March 1, 2008


Reporters Without Borders, 27 February 2008-

Reporters Without Borders is extremely worried about the health of detained cyber-dissident and human rights lawyer Yang Maodong, who has been on hunger strike in Meizhou prison (in the province of Guangdong) for the past 11 weeks. Better known by the online pseudonym of Guo Feixiong, Yang stopped eating on 13 December.

“This is the second hunger strike that Yang has undertaken in a year and this time he has not eaten for almost 80 days,” the press freedom organisation said. “Every day he is given injections that supply a quarter of his daily energy needs and he is continuing to drink liquids, but his state of health is alarming. We urge the authorities to let him be examined by a doctor at once and we reiterate our call for his release.”

His wife, Zhang Qing, today told Reporters Without Borders about the “physical mistreatment, including electric shocks” to which he has been subjected since his arrest a year and a half ago and the “traces of torture, five or six scars.” She said she is now staging a 24-hour hunger strike each week in solidarity with her husband and to “denounce the state’s inhuman and legally inadmissible behaviour” towards him.

The authorities are treating Yang with increased harshness and Yang was denied access to the prison when she went to visit him on 22 January. She was able to see him in the courtyard from outside the prison. As soon as he saw her, the guards surrounding him put a hood over his head. Zhang said he seemed to be “very weak” and “seriously handicapped by the poor state of his pelvis.”

A writer and human rights activist, Yang, 41, was arrested for “disturbing the peace” after organising a rally in the village of Taishi on 13 September 2006. The authorities claimed that he “personally led demonstrations by villagers with the aim of overthrowing the local officials.”

He was sentenced in November 2007 to five years in prison and a fine of 40,000 yuan (4,000 euros). In order to begin collecting this sum, the authorities froze the couple’s bank account on 18 December and withdrew 7,260 yuan.

– Original report from Reporters Without Borders: Detained cyber-dissident has been on hunger strike for nearly 80 days

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Guo Feixiong, Health, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, Life, News, People, Politics, SE China, Taishi village, Torture, World | Comments Off on Detained China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Hunger Strike For Nearly 80 Days

China: Open Letter From Persecuted Dissident’s Wife to U.S. President Bush

Posted by Author on January 22, 2008


By Zhang Qing, Courtesy of The Wei Jingsheng Foundation, Via the Epochtimes, Jan 21, 2008-

Honorable Mr. President:

Greetings!

I am a Chinese citizen named Zhang Qing. I am writing this letter to you today with the hope that you can extend a helping hand to rescue my husband Guo Feixiong.

Guo Feixiong is a Chinese human rights activist with whom you were scheduled to meet with in May of 2006. At the end of April 2006, Guo Feixiong received an invitation to attend a conference in the United States titled “Freedom of Belief and Rule of Law”. After the conference concluded on May 11, you met at the White House with three people who had come to the conference from China. Because of circumstances beyond my husband’s control, he was unable to attend the meeting you held with these Chinese human rights activists. Although he did not attend this meeting, he appreciates the special significance of your gesture. He said, “This is the U.S. government recognizing and supporting the Chinese human rights movement.”

As an active promoter of human rights, Guo Feixiaong has involved himself in many well-known rights defense incidents in China. Some examples are the Taishi village incident when the peasants dismissed the village head; he also initiated and organized the campaign to support and rescue rights defense attorney Gao Zhisheng. Because of these he has been repeatedly beaten and thrown in jail.

On September 14, 2006, Guo Feixiong was once again arrested and put in jail. The government cooked up charges accusing him of running an illicit business, saying that he published a magazine called the “Earthquake in Shenyang Political Circles”. Actually, that magazine exposed corruption in Chinese political circles. As early as 2001, the government used this charge to fine Guo Feixiong 100,000 RMB (~13,800 USD). Now Chinese justice officials have pulled out this groundless charge again to arrest Guo Feixiong.

During Guo Feixiong’s term of detention in Guangzhou, he was interrogated continuously for thirteen days and nights; he was not permitted to sleep; his feet and hands were tied together and he was chained to a bed in a bent over position for forty-two days; his feet were shackled for more than one hundred days.

The most brutal punishment occurred on January 20, 2007 when the Guangzhou judicial authorities transferred my husband to China’s northeastern city of Shenyang. The Shenyang police locked Guo Feixiong up with death-row inmates and put him through torture even more brutal than those he endured at the Guangzhou detention center.

On February 12, 2007, the Shenyang police department case handlers put black cover on Guo Feixiong’s head and brutally beat him in a secret location. At that location, they tied both hands behind his back and hung my husband by his hands for long periods of time; they used high voltage batons to shock his reproductive organs. On February 13, Guo Feixiong could not bear the extreme pain and humiliation of this torture so he used all his might to smash into some glass hoping to end his suffering with death. On March 19, they once again used the high voltage police batons to shock Guo Feixiong’s reproductive organs for as long as five to six minutes.

With no material evidence to incriminate him, on November 14, 2007, the judicial authorities used the forced confession that was extracted through high voltage shock torture as evidence to declare Guo Feixiong guilty. They sentenced him to a fixed term of five years and fined him 40,000RMB (~5,500USD).

After enduring as long as fourteen months of illegal detainment and countless torture sessions, on December 13, 2007, Guo Feixiong was transferred from Guangzhou’s third detention center to Guangdong province’s Meizhou city prison to serve his sentence. The day that Guo Feixiong arrived at the prison, he was threatened by the warden, who said that he would be sent to a mental hospital. In addition, the warden decreed that he was not allowed to read newspapers and books, and that he would not be allowed to talk with other prisoners; and he was also forced to do physical labor for long hours. On the same day that he was transferred to Meizhou Prison, Guo Feixiong announced that he would go on a hunger strike for one hundred days to protest this inhumane treatment.

On December 18, the fifth day of Guo Feixiong’s hunger strike, the warden secretly assigned one of the prisoners to beat Guo Feixiong savagely in front of more than 200 other prisoners. The assigned prisoner did not stop beating him until the surrounding 200 prisoners who were watching could take it no longer and spoke up to stop it.

What pains me even more is that last September, my son should have entered the first grade, but the school authorities refused to let him attend. Now my son is being deprived of an education and has already been at home for more than five months. My daughter who will soon be going into middle school, was also threatened that she would be forced to quit school. The government authorities concerned with this matter threatened Guo Feixiong saying, “We will not let your son attend first grade, and we will not allow your daughter to continue into middle school.”

My children frequently ask me, “How come Papa still has not come home? Why can not I go to school?”

Mr. President, right now my husband is still in prison on hunger strike and he has already fasted for 34 days (prison authorities force liquid food down his throat, and it is about one quarter of a day’s worth of food.) The danger he is in worries me greatly. I also wrote a letter to our nation’s president, Mr. Hu Jintao, but I have had no reply. I have no choice but to seek help from you, to seek help from the U.S. government that upholds and advocates human rights. I hope that the U.S. government can speak up to help stop China’s judicial authorities from this sort of persecution and severe infringement on human rights; please help my children avoid this injustice of discrimination and loss of opportunity for education, and please urge the Chinese authorities to release Guo Feixiong.

I am most grateful for your concern and help with human rights in China.

Sincerely yours,

Zhang Qing

January 15, 2008

Phone:020-38817085, 13660267758 e-mail:zhangqingchina999@hotmail.com

This open letter was translated into English by the Wei Jingsheng Foundation. The Epoch Times edited this letter for publication.

Report from the Epochtimes

Posted in China, Guo Feixiong, Health, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Report, Social, USA, World | 2 Comments »

China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Beaten in Prison, Staging Hunger Strike in Prison

Posted by Author on January 7, 2008


Radio Free Asia, 2007.12.28-

HONG KONG— Prominent Chinese civil rights lawyer Guo Feixiong has been beaten in prison and is now on the fifteenthday of a hunger strike, his wife and sister have said.

“He was beaten Dec. 18, the fifth day after he entered the prison in Meizhou. A fellow prisoner beat him while more than 200 other prisoners looked on,” Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing, told RFA’s Mandarin service after visiting with Guo for 40 minutes on Dec. 28. She was accompanied by his older sister, Yang Maoping.

“He told me he was beaten for a long time. The prisoner stopped beating him only when the onlookers began to boo and shush to express their displeasure. In the process of the beating, he fell from the stairs, about two meters,” Zhang said.

Guo Feixiong, the professional name of Yang Maodong, is serving a five-year sentence for conducting illegal business activities, after publishing a book about a political scandal and helping villagers lead a campaign to oust local officials accused of corruption.

He was arrested in September 2006 and sent to Shenyang on Jan. 20, 2007. He was transferred back to Guangzhou on March 30, tried on July 9, sentenced Nov. 14, and transferred Dec. 13 from a detention center in Guangzhou to serve his term at the remote Meizhou Prison of Guangdong Province.

Labor but no reading in prison

“He looked much worse today than when I saw him Dec. 12—he’s been on a hunger strike since Dec. 13, for 15 days. He told me they have been force-feeding him and that his daily intake is about one-quarter of a normal person’s daily intake. He looked very thin, very pale. He said his hunger strike would last 100 days,” his wife said.

Zhang said her husband was told he would have to work eight hours a day in prison, sewing clothing, in addition to training in the evening. “He’s a man. What does he know about sewing?” she said.

“He has an irregular heartbeat. The air quality in the workroom is very bad. And it is very noisy. This constitutes a form of physical abuse. So he asked not to engage in labor. Then they drew a line in front of his cell door and told him not to cross the line and not to speak with any of the other more than 200 inmates. I infer from this that he is in solitary confinement,” she said.

Guo is also barred from reading, Zhang said. “That’s why he is on a hunger strike for 100 days—to protest all these things—the deprivation of his basic rights. They also threatened to send him to a mental hospital. In the past they carried out their threat to send him to Shenyang, where he was tortured. That’s why we take this threat very seriously. He said he is facing an extremely grave situation. He said this is just like what happened to him in Shenyang… He called for the outside world to campaign on his behalf. He said this was the first time that he ever issued such a plea.”(…… more details from Radio Free Asia)

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Torture, World | Comments Off on China Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong Beaten in Prison, Staging Hunger Strike in Prison

China: Rights Defender Guo Feixiong Sentenced to 5 years in Prison

Posted by Author on November 16, 2007


Human Rights in China, November 14, 2007-

November 14, 2007 (Hong Kong): Human Rights in China has learned that human rights defender and legal advisor Guo Feixiong (also known as Yang Maodong) was convicted in Guangzhou at 8:30 am today of “illegal business activity” and sentenced to 5 years’ imprisonment and fined 40,000 yuan. Human Rights in China condemns Guo’s conviction, particularly following a trial marked with serious procedural irregularities.

“The imposition of this heavy sentence for what appears to be a politically motivated prosecution has a chilling effect on other rights defenders and undermines China’s efforts to build a rule of law,” said Executive Director Sharon Hom. “This result following a procedurally flawed process, a year in detention, and reports of torture, is particularly ironic in the case of Guo Feixiong, who advocated the use of law to seek justice.”

Guo went on trial at Guangzhou’s Tianhe District Court on July 9, 2007, on charges of “illegal business activity” in connection with the publication of Shenyang Political Earthquake《沈阳政坛地震》, a book concerning a political scandal in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province. On July 26, 2007, Guo’s wife Zhang Qing learned from a judge at Tianhe District Court that the procuratorate had requested that Guo’s case be sent back for supplemental investigation following the adjournment of his trial. At the end of August, Guo’’s case was sent back to the Tianhe District Court upon completion of this investigation period. On October 12, 2007, Zhang learned that the Tianhe District Court had requested approval from the Higher People’s Court of Guangdong Province to further delay Guo’s case for another month.

Guo, who provided legal advice in a number of controversial rights defense cases, was detained on September 14, 2006, and formally arrested on September 30, 2006. The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau referred the case to Guangzhou’s Tianhe District Procuratorate, but the case was sent back on January 19, 2007, for supplemental investigation. On January 20, the case was transferred to the authorities in Liaoning Province. The case was referred again to the Tianhe District Procuratorate on February 17, but the procuratorate sent it back once more to the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau on March 1 for another round of supplemental investigation. Guo was formally indicted on May 15, the last day on which a prosecution could be initiated against him.

Guo was detained and beaten on a number of occasions in 2005 and 2006 before he was formally arrested. Since being taken into formal detention, he has told his lawyer that he has been subjected to severe physical abuse and round-the-clock interrogation, and he has reportedly gone on hunger strike for a total of 40 days in protest against his treatment.

Original report from Human Rights in China

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, World | Comments Off on China: Rights Defender Guo Feixiong Sentenced to 5 years in Prison

China: Tortured Cyber-dissident refuses to answer prosecutor in court

Posted by Author on July 11, 2007


Reporters Without Borders, Jul. 10, 2007-

The trial of cyber-dissident Guo Feixiong before court No. 11 in the southern city of Guangzhou was adjourned after three hours yesterday morning because of his “unruly” behaviour in court and his refusal to answer questions from the prosecutor. No date has been set for another hearing. He is charged with illegal business activities.

Guo spoke out during the hearing, denying the charges, retracting the confession he previously made under torture, and criticising the court.

“Judging by the fact that 90 per cent of the 175 interrogations to which I have been subjected during my 10 months in detention were about human rights issues, it is clear that this is a case of political persecution,” he told the court.

“I doubt the fairness of this trial because of the presence in the courtroom of two prosecutors against whom I brought complaints and for this reason, I refuse to answer the questions of the court and the prosecutor,” Guo added, prompting the decision to suspend the hearing.

His wife, Zhang Qing, is afraid that his courtroom comments could lead to reprisals against him in the coming days. “It is likely that he will be tortured again,” she said. She wrote to United Nations special rapporteur Manfred Nowak last month accusing her husband’s jailers of torturing him.

His lawyer, Mo Shaoping, fears that the court will decide to make an example of him and impose an extremely severe sentence.

Arrested in September 2006 for criticising the authorities on the Internet and because of his human rights activities, Guo has been repeatedly tortured while in detention. He has filed several complaints without ever getting a response.

original report

Posted in Activist, China, Guangdong, Guangzhou, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, SE China, Social, Speech, Torture, writer | Comments Off on China: Tortured Cyber-dissident refuses to answer prosecutor in court

Tortured Chinese Dissident Goes on Trial

Posted by Author on July 10, 2007


Reuters via Epochtimes, Jul 09, 2007-

BEIJING—A Chinese dissident, whose wife sought a U.N. investigation into accusations of torture, went on trial on Monday charged with illegal business activity, a human rights watchdog said.

Guo Feixiong, 41, was arrested in September in connection with a book he edited about a political scandal in the northeastern city of Shenyang. He maintains his innocence.

The trial of Guo, also known as Yang Maodong, lasted 3-½ hours but it was unclear when a verdict or sentence would be announced, the Information Centre for Human Rights and Democracy said in a faxed statement, quoting the lawyer.

Guo’s wife and brother attended the trial in Guangzhou, capital of the southern province of Guangdong, the centre said, but gave no further details.

In June, Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing, asked the New York-based Human Rights in China to forward a letter to Manfred Nowak, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, in which she accused her husband’s interrogators of repeatedly torturing him to extract a confession.

Fellow activist Hu Jia said in an e-mail that Guo planned to retract his confession on grounds that he was tortured.

His wife and lawyer could not be contacted. A court official, reached by telephone, declined to comment.

Guo had staged a hunger strike for a total of 40 days in protest against torture.

Human Rights in China has said tactics used by police have included shackling Guo’s arms and legs to a bed for weeks at a time and extended periods of sleep deprivation.

Guo experienced the “worst treatment” after he was transferred to a detention centre in Shenyang, where interrogators shackled his hands behind his back, sat him on a stool and applied a high-voltage electric rod to his genitals, Human Rights in China said.

He had been heavily involved in publicising rural protests in Guangdong before he was taken into police custody, providing legal advice to disgruntled farmers.

Guo was held for over three months in 2005 for trying to help residents of Taishi village in Guangdong to vote out their elected chief over allegations of corruption in a land sale.

Prior to his arrest, Guo was briefly detained last year for attempting to organise a hunger strike to protest against his beatings in Guangzhou by thugs believed to have been hired by Taishi village officials.

report from the Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, China, Dongzhou, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Speech, Torture, writer | Comments Off on Tortured Chinese Dissident Goes on Trial

Wife of Detained Chinese Lawyer Appeal to UN on Torture

Posted by Author on June 9, 2007


Press release, Human Rights in China (HRIC), June 05, 2007-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has received a letter from Zhang Qing, the wife of GuoGuo Feixiong Feixiong (also known as Yang Maodong) detailing Guo’s torture in detention and asking HRIC to forward the letter to Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. In her letter, Zhang calls on the Special Rapporteur to investigate Guo’s case and draw attention to his cruel and inhumane treatment in detention. A full translation of Zhang Qing’s letter is appended to this press release.

HRIC has previously reported on the Guo’s case and its legal developments. According to the information Zhang Qing has provided to HRIC, Guo has been held in detention since September 14, 2006, during which he has been repeatedly tortured simply because he will not admit to having committed any crime and because he refuses cooperate with the authorities’ interrogations. Zhang says that Guo has been repeatedly subjected to torture and inhumane treatment in the pretrial detention facility in order to extract a confession from him.

Tactics used by police have included shackling Guo’s arms and legs to a bed for weeks at a time, and extended periods of sleep deprivation.

Zhang Qing says Guo experienced the worst treatment after being transferred to a detention center in Shenyang. There interrogators tried to extract a confession from Guo by shackling his hands behind his back, sitting him on a stool and striking his genitalia with a high-voltage electric rod. The last such instance was in March this year. Guo has since been transferred back to Guangzhou.

Guo, who provided legal advice in a number of controversial right defense cases, was detained on September 14 and formally arrested on September 30, 2006, on suspicion of “illegal business activity” in connection with editing a book published in Liaoning Province regarding a political scandal in Shenyang City. HRIC recently reported that after the case had been shuttled between Liaoning and Guangzhou, Guo will finally go on trial on June 15 in Guangzhou’s Tianhe District Court.

HRIC condemns the abuse and torture that Guo Feixiong has been subjected to in detention, and calls upon the authorities to immediately ensure his physical safety, including granting him access to medical care and international observers.

HRIC calls on the Chinese government to implement its obligations under the UN Convention Against Torture, which prohibits torture, and the PRC Criminal Procedure Law which prohibits the extraction of confessions through torture. Further, in advance of its review by the United Nations Committee Against Torture in November 2008, HRIC calls on the authorities to investigate the allegations of abusive treatment of Guo in detention and take steps to ensure that he is not subject to further abuse.

ADDENDUM:

To: Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture

I am the wife of rights defender Guo Feixiong (also known as Yang Maodong), who was involved in the world-renowned incident in Panyu, Guangdong Province, in 2005 during which the Party village committee head of Taishi Village was recalled from office. For assisting the villagers in recalling the village official, Guo was subjected to four months’ detention. For taking part in rights defense activities on behalf of farmers, on September 14, 2006, my husband was thrown in prison on trumped-up charges. I would now like to recount to you the facts of my husband’s imprisonment and the torture to which he has been subjected, as follows:

Appellant: Chinese citizen Guo Feixiong (originally named Yang Maodong), whose wife Zhang Qing is acting on his behalf in filing this appeal due to his being imprisoned

A. Details of Custody

1. Name: Yang Maodong
2. Sex: Male
3. Date of birth: August 2, 1966
4. Nationality: Chinese
5. Place of residence: Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, China
6. Occupation or activities involved in: Writer of articles on freedom, advisor to the Shengzhi Law Firm in Beijing

B. Details of Detention and Arrest

1. Date and location of detention: September 14, 2006, detained at Guo Feixiong’s residence on Tiyu East Road in Tianhe District, Guangzhou City
2. Crime charged with at detention: Detained on suspicion of “illegal business activities”
3. Date and location of arrest: September 30, 2006, at the Guangzhou City No. 1 Detention Center
4. Crime charged with at arrest: Arrested on suspicion of “illegal business activities”
5. Unit that carried out the detention and arrest: Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau
6. Whether or not a warrant for his detention and arrest were produced: Both a detention warrant and an arrest warrant were produced
7. Name of body that signed the arrest warrant or other documents: Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau of Guangdong Province

C. Details of Indictment and Trial

1. Date of indictment: May 15, 2007
2. Crime charged with at indictment: Indicted on suspicion of “illegal business activities”
3. Date of trial: June 15, 2007
4. Location of trial: Tianhe District Court, Guangzhou City
5. Location where currently being held in custody: Guangzhou Municipal No. 3 Detention Center

D. The Facts of the Use of Torture During Detention

Having provided assistance in several rights defense cases, Guo Feixiong became involved in an incident in 2005 to remove the head of the Taishi Village Party Committee from office, and was hired by the villagers to act as their legal representative. For removing this village cadre according to law, the Taishi villagers were subjected to violent suppression by police dispatched by the local government. In the first stage of this movement, Guo Feixiong provided information to the outside world on developments in Taishi, which attracted a great deal of attention from international media and was widely reported on. For this reason, on September 13 Guo Feixiong was detained by police, placed under criminal detention on suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disturb social order,” and held in custody for more than three months, during which time he engaged in protest hunger strikes totaling 59 days. He was released on December 27, 2005. Then, in February, March and August of 2006, Guo Feixiong was attacked and beaten three times by police for no reason.

On September 14, 2006, the Guangzhou police detained Guo on suspicion of “illegal business activities,” with their main basis for detention being a book that he published in 2001 in Liaoning Province entitled An Earthquake That Shook the Political World in Shenyang.

On the same day that he was put into prison, on September 14, 2006, he began a 15-day hunger strike in protest of the government’s suppression of rights defenders. During his time in detention, because he would not admit to having committed any crime and because he refused to answer the questions put to him by police, he was treated violently by police from the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau in the pretrial (detention) facility, and interrogators took turns working him to exhaustion to try to force a confession out of him, and did not let him sleep for several days and nights. On January 11 of this year, when Guo’s lawyer Hu Xiao went to visit Guo in the detention facility, Hu learned that, in order to try to extract a confession from Guo, police from the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau used torture on him and tied him to his bed in leg and arm manacles for 40 days. After that, Guo went on a hunger strike in protest for 25 days.

Because Guo Feixiong went to the prison authorities to complain about the torture inflicted on him, police officers in the pretrial facility carried out vicious acts of revenge on him. They even went so far as to dig their fingernails into their own skin to leave marks, which they then accused Guo of making, and they used this as an excuse to physically abuse him further. Ever since Guo was detained on suspicion of “illegal business activities,” he has been interrogated a total of 175 times.

On May 28, Guo’s lawyer, Hu Xiao, went again to the Guangzhou No. 3 Detention Center to visit Guo. According to what Guo Feixiong told him, when Guo was transferred to Shenyang, he was treated cruelly and inhumanely in a secret location. On February 12, police who were interrogating Guo tied his manacled hands behind his back, hung him at a 180 degree angle, and then strapped him to a “tiger bench” for four hours. The police used high-voltage electric rods to beat his face and hands, which became swollen. They also used electric rods to beat him about the genitals, and they struck his ears with the electric rods dozens of times.

On March 19, on the 11th day before his period of detention and investigation was to end, the police still had not received a confession from Guo, so they again used severe punishment to try to force a confession. They used electric police batons to viciously and continuously strike him about the genitalia. This brutality went on for five or six minutes.

The above are the facts of the inhumane torture inflicted on my husband since he has been held in detention. On the basis of these facts, I appeal to you, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. I devoutly place of all my hopes on you, Mr. Nowak, and I hope that when you hold discussions and negotiations with the Chinese government, you will bring up my husband’s case of inhumane and cruel treatment while in a Chinese prison. This type of case is currently very commonplace in China, where so-called human rights—including the right to silence—are luxury items that ordinary citizens have no right to enjoy. At the same time, I most sincerely and earnestly hope that you and the United Nations will pay close attention to my husband’s case, and that he will be cleared of all charges, found innocent and released.

Mr. Nowak, I wish to convey to you my deepest respect for the results of your 2005 trip to China to investigate torture in Chinese prisons. Your inspection was extremely meaningful in helping to improve the situation of torture in our prisons. I hope very much that you will visit China again for another inspection, so that real improvements can be made in the area of human rights in China, and so that democracy and China’s legal systems can be advanced. Lastly, whatever the outcome of my husband’s ordeal is, I would like to express to you my heartfelt and sincere gratitude.

I wish you good health.

Zhang Qing, citizen of China

June 4, 2007

Translated by HRIC

original report from HRI

Related:
Detained China Lawyer on Hunger Strike to Against Abuse , Radio Free Asia, 2007.01.11

Posted in China, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, NE China, News, People, Police, Social, Speech, Torture, World | Comments Off on Wife of Detained Chinese Lawyer Appeal to UN on Torture

Detained China Lawyer on Hunger Strike to Against Abuse

Posted by Author on January 16, 2007


Radio Free Asia,  2007.01.11-HONG KONG—A prominent civil rights lawyer in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has refused food or water for 25 days because he says he has been abused by detention center guards hoping to extract a confession.

Guo Feixiong was detained Sept. 15 on suspicion of “running an illegal business.” He is currently held in the Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center. He wrote to his wife earlier this week to tell her that formal charges were being made against him.

“He said he was chained to a wooden bedframe by investigators at the center for 40 days, in the hope that they’d be able to get a confession out of him,” Guo’s lawyer Hu Xiao told RFA’s Mandarin service.

China sees thousands of grass-roots protests every year, often at alleged official wrongdoing. Activists, petitioners, and the lawyers who help them are often detained, harassed, beaten up, or given jail terms.

Hu visited Guo, who is also known as Yang Maodong, Thursday. He told reporter Ding Xiao after the meeting that Guo began his hunger strike only after 40 days of ill-treatment inside the detention center.

“They had special techniques they used that wouldn’t leave much obvious damage on his body, but which would have an oppressive effect on him, for example, they beat him on his head where it wouldn’t show. They also verbally abused him.”

Wife’s horror

Guo’s wife Zhang Qing said she was horrified to hear what had happened to her husband.

“This is inhumane and cruel, to tie someone hand and foot to a bed for 40 days. Most people would be done for in just a few days,” she said. “The Communist Party is wonderful, isn’t it, to do a thing like that?”

Hu said Guo had been given documents relating to the prosecution of his fellow activist and former colleague, Beijing-based lawyer Gao Zhisheng, in an apparent attempt to extract a confession.

But there was no mention of Gao’s case on the official document that pressed formal charges against Guo, Hu said. “I checked this with Guo, and he said they gave him a lot of the documentation from Gao’s case, in a lot of detail for him to read.”

Gao, a veteran rights lawyer who most upset China’s leaders with his defense of members of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement and an open letter denouncing the government, was handed a five-year suspended prison sentence for subversion by the Beijing No.1 Intermediate People’s Court on Dec. 12.

His political rights were suspended for one year. He remains under tight surveillance.

Gao sentenced for subversion

The court said the subversion charges were based on Gao’s signature on nine articles that were published on the Internet. It also cited the three open letters Gao wrote to President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in which he called for religious freedom and less corruption.

The court’s judgement said the articles “defamed the Chinese central government and amounted to agitation aimed at toppling the government.”

The decision, and the relatively light sentence, was based on Gao’s “spontaneous” confession.

Guangzhou officials gave the documents to Guo apparently in the hope of cutting a similar deal. Zhang said the charges of illegal business practice dating back to his time in the publishing industry didn’t stand up.

Gao lost his law license after he criticized the government for its treatment of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement. He also began a rolling hunger strike earlier in the year to protest the ill-treatment of lawyers and rights activists at the hands of police and local government officials.

The protest began in reaction to the beating of Guo by police during the Taishi village electoral dispute of the summer of 2005. Guo was a close associate of Gao, and both lawyers had worked on a number of sensitive cases, including the Taishi village standoff.

Posted in Activist, China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, hunger strike, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Protest, SE China, Social | 1 Comment »

China: Bad Start to Year For Online Free Expression

Posted by Author on January 13, 2007


Reporters Without Borders, 12 January 2007-

There has been a wave of violations of online free expression since the start of the year, Reporters Without Borders said today. A website covering corruption cases was shut down on 8 January, the Sichuan authorities are continuing to enforce an Internet ban on Tibetan poet Woeser, and the wife of Yang Maodong (Guo Feixiong), one of the 50 cyber-dissidents jailed in China, today said he is being regularly tortured.

“The Internet is developing at breakneck speed in China but without any letup in censorship,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Both in Beijing and the provinces, the authorities still crack down on those who discuss sensitive political issues online. We are particularly shocked at the report of Guo Feixiong being tortured in prison. China continues to be a police state that sees the Internet as something to be censored and controlled. This must be resisted.”

A lawyer held since 14 September 2006, Guo Feixiong is officially charged with “illegal business activities” but the real reason for his detention is his human rights activities. He is a member of the writers’ organisation, the Independent Chinese PEN, and regularly wrote for news websites. His wife, Zhang Qing, told Agence France-Presse he has been repeatedly tortured. She said he had been chained to a bed and beaten for 40 days in a row to make him confess.

The authorities are continuing to enforce an online publication ban on Tibetan writer and poet Woeser, whose blogs were shut down last July. The police in the city of Mingyang, in the southwestern province of Sichuan, ordered a Tibetan website on 7 December to eliminate any reference to her writings.

Finally on 8 January, the police in Xiamen, in the southeastern province of Fujian, closed down wwww.lixinde.com, a website founded in 2003 that published news about corruption cases and monitored the activities of local authorities. The police said it published “bad information.” One of its recent articles was headlined “Liaoning province committee secretary protects murky forces.”

original report

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Blog, censorship, China, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Internet, Journalist, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Speech, SW China, Tibet, Tibetan, Torture, website, Woeser | Comments Off on China: Bad Start to Year For Online Free Expression

Case Moves Ahead Against China Rights Defender Guo Feixiong

Posted by Author on January 11, 2007


Human Rights in China, January 08, 2007-

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that the case of “illegal business activity” against rights defender Guo Feixiong (also known as Yang Maodong) has been referred to the Guangzhou Procuratorate after a second investigation.

Guo Feixiong, who provided legal advice in a number of controversial right defense cases, was detained on September 14, 2006, and formally arrested on September 30, 2006 on suspicion of “illegal business activity.” No details have as yet been made public. The Guangzhou Public Security Bureau (PSB) referred the case to the Guangzhou Municipal Procuratorate on October 19, but the procuratorate sent the case back to the PSB on October 28 for further investigation.

Sources say that on January 6, 2007, Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing, received a letter from him in prison stating that on December 28, 2006, the procuratorate had informed him that it had received a “statement of investigation” from the PSB, and that Guo could seek legal counsel.

Guo Feixiong was a key legal advisor to villagers in Taishi Village, Guangdong Province, who in 2005 drew worldwide attention with their move to recall the director of their village committee over alleged corruption. As a result of his role in the controversy, Guo was detained for more than three months, during which he went on hunger strike. Following his release, Guo was beaten by public security officers on three occasions in February, March and August of 2006.

At the time of his detention, the police searched his home and seized two laptop computers and a desktop computer, as well as the computer used by Guo’s wife. Police also seized a cellular telephone, digital video and audio tapes, and a number of books and documents. Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing, was also detained for questioning and subjected to repeated body searches, and police continued to monitor her following her release.

Guo’s lawyers, Mo Shaoping and Hu Xiao, were allowed to visit Guo at the Guangzhou Municipal Detention Center on September 29, 2006. According to HRIC’s sources, Guo told his lawyers that following his detention, he was deprived of sleep for several days while repeatedly being subjected to interrogation. When he began refusing food and water in protest, detention center personnel inserted a feeding tube against his wishes. Guo said he wrote several letters of complaint to the procuratorate, but detention center officials have refused to deliver them.

Zhang Qing has been dismissed from her job because of her husband, and is supporting herself and her two children (ages nine and five) as best as she can through freelance writing.

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, SE China, Social, Speech | Comments Off on Case Moves Ahead Against China Rights Defender Guo Feixiong

Writers in Prison: China’s Crackdown on Dissident Writers

Posted by Author on October 12, 2006


Cathy McCann, Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN, 10th October, 2006-

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN is alarmed about an apparent crackdown on dissident writers in China. Three writers have been detained in recent weeks: they are Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong), Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong) and Chen Shuqing. All three appear to be held for their critical writings and dissident activities. There are serious concerns that they are at risk of ill-treatment in prison.

International PEN calls for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory, and seeks immediate assurances that whilst detained they are treated humanely.

According to PEN’s information, prominent writer Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong) was arrested on 6 September 2006 when more than 20 police officers searched his home in Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, Eastern China. His computers were seized and his wife interrogated. He is reportedly charged with ‘incitement to subversion of state power’ for critical articles published online on overseas websites.

Zhang Jianhong, aged 48, is a leading writer in the region and is known for his dissident activities and prolific writings. He is a member of Independent Chinese PEN centre (ICPC).

Zhang was imprisoned from 1989-1991 for his pro-democracy activities. In August 2005 he founded the literary website Aiqinhai.org (http://www.aiqinhai.org/), of which he was editor-in-chief, which was banned by the authorities in March 2006. He is also a regular contributor to the overseas Chinese sites Boxun (http://www.boxun.com) and The Epoch Times (http://www.dajiyuan.com).

Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong), a well-known dissident writer, independent publisher and civil rights activist, has been detained since 14 September 2006. According to his wife, police officers searched their home in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, Southern China, and took away Yang’s computers, cell phone, books, manuscripts and other documents. The following day Yang was reportedly charged with illegal business practices for allegedly publishing and selling 20,000 books using false ISBNs (international standard book number). His wife claims that the charges are totally unfounded. There are reports that he is being ill-treated in detention.

Yang Maodong, aged 40, has been known to the authorities for some time for his critical writings and civil rights activism. He was previously detained on 12 September 2005 and held without charge until December 2005 for his involvement in and reporting of an anti-corruption campaign by villagers in Taishi Village, Guangdong Province. PEN campaigned for his release. (http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/index.php?pid=33&aid=393&return=33) Yang has since been subject to repeated harassment by the authorities, most recently on 9 August 2006 when he was reportedly beaten by railway police and briefly detained for carrying an allegedly false ticket.

Yang Maodong is a writer and independent publisher, and his writings include two novels and one collection of short stories. He has also published many essays, poems and articles.

Chen Shuqing, a dissident writer and leading member of Zhejiang Branch of the banned Chinese Democratic Party (CDP), has been detained since 14 September 2006. He went voluntarily to the Daguan Police Station, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, after being summoned the previous day. He was arrested on subversion charges, after which police raided his home and took away his computer and some documents. The reason for the charge is not known, although he is known for his critical articles published on various overseas Chinese Websites such as Boxun, Minzhu Luntan, Dajiyuan, Yi Bao, Guancha, and Xin Shiji.

Chen, aged 42, was previously detained in 1999 for 4 months for his role in the setting up the banned Chinese Democratic Party. After his release, he trained to become a lawyer, but in 2005, after passing his exams, he was refused a lawyer’s licence by the Justice
Bureau of Zhejiang Province, who alleged his articles published online had violated China’s Constitution. Chen challenged this ruling in court, but lost the case in both the lower and the appeal courts. He has since been subject to police harassment.

Please send appeals:

  • protesting the detention of writers Zhang Jianhong (aka Li Hong), Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong) and Chen Shuqing, and calling for their immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China became a signatory in 1998;
  • seeking immediate assurances that they are not ill-treated in prison;
  • urging the authorities to respect their basic rights whilst detained and to granted them full access to their families, lawyers and any necessary medical care.

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. WiPC recommends that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in your country asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments.

Government addresses:
His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
P.R.China.

Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang
Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Beiheyan Street 147
100726 Beijing
P.R.China

Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities, so you may wish to ask the diplomatic representative for China in your country to forward your appeals.

Please copy appeals to the diplomatic representative for China in your country if possible.

Posted in censorship, Chen Shuqing, China, Dissident, Guo Feixiong, Internet, Journalist, Law, Li Hong, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech | Comments Off on Writers in Prison: China’s Crackdown on Dissident Writers

Diplomats asked to intercede on behalf of detained China cyber-dissident

Posted by Author on October 9, 2006


Reporters Without Borders, 9 October 2006-

Reporters Without Borders today urged foreign diplomats based in Beijing to raise the case of cyber-dissident Yang Maodong with the Chinese authorities as he has been the victim of mistreatment since his arrest on 14 September. Yang is better known by his pseudonym, Guo Feixiong.

“Yang’s arrest brings the number of cyber-dissidents detained in China to 50,” the press freedom organisation said. “We are dismayed by the attempts of the Chinese police to break the will of government opponents by all means possible. This inhumane treatment carried out in a completely illegal manner is a disgrace of the Chinese judicial system.”

According to his lawyers, Yang has been interrogated for up to 11 hours a day and constantly threatened and insulted. The police also reportedly prevented him for sleeping for seven days and nights in a row. He went on hunger strike as soon as he was arrested. After two weeks, the authorities began feeding him intravenously by force. Despite the mistreatment, he is still refusing to cooperate with the police.

A lawyer, writer and human rights activist who lives in Guangzhou in the southern province of Guangdong, Yang has been charged with “illegal business activities.” According to his lawyers, he faces up to five years in prison or even more if his case is deemed to be “serious.” No date has yet been set for his trial.

Yang was previously imprisoned from October to December last year for “disturbing the peace” after encouraging the population of the village of Taishi (in Guangdong province) to demand the resignation of the village chief for alleged corruption. He was briefly arrested again early this year after going on hunger strike in protest against the beating he had received from thugs in Guangzhou.

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Journalist, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Police, Politics, Social, Speech, Taishi village | 1 Comment »

Lawyer Guo Feixiong Tortured While in Detention

Posted by Author on October 3, 2006


By Ding Xiao, Radio Free Asia /the Epoch Times, Oct 02, 2006-

The imprisoned human rights activist Guo Feixiong disclosed the inquisition by torture when he met his attorney Mo Shaoping in the morning of September 29. He also went on two weeks’ hunger strike to protest against the authority’s large-scale suppression of human rights activists.

On the morning of September 29, defending attorney Mo Shaoping met with Guo Feixiong at the First Detention Center in Guangzhou City where Guo had been detained for half a month. During the 40-minute meeting, Guo disclosed how police tortured him to extort a confession. During the interview, Guo’s wife Zhang Qing conveyed the information, according to the lawyer’s meeting record.

Zhang Qing said, “First he was deprived of sleep. More than 10 policemen took turns interrogating him for seven days and nights. He was allowed only an hour’s sleep each night. The record of the interrogation verifies this. What followed were abuse, insults and threats.” While he was on a hunger strike he was force-fed through his nose by the police. He ended his hunger strike on September 29 because he was meeting with Mo.

Guo Feixiong was arrested on September 14 on fabricated charges of “illegal business operations.” During the period just before his arrest, Guo was involved in trying to rescue his good friend and renowned human rights attorney, Gao Zhisheng. Chinese rights activists believe Guo’s arrest was related to his involvement with the rescue activities.

Acting as defending attorney for both Gao Zhisheng and Guo Feixiong’s, Mo revealed that Guo’s provocation mainly related to the publishing of a book entitled “Earthquake of Shenyang Government”(a book relating to the corruption of the Shenyang Government) six years ago. Guo refused to acknowledge any of the questions because they could not prove the book was published by him.

Mo said this case “on the surface” was not related to Gao Zhisheng case.

His wife conveyed Guo’s words to the outside world as follows.

Zhang Qing, “His 15-days hunger strike was not for his arrest for illegal business operation, but for protesting the recent government suppression of human rights.”

Guo suffered continuous suppression since he provided legal consultant to villagers from Taishi village Guangdong province last summer. In the past one year, he has been detained for more than a hundred days, beaten up three times. This hunger strike is the third time within the past one year. Related articles:
http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-10-2/32852.html , http://www.theepochtimes.com/news/5-10-4/32880.html

During his visit Mo submitted an application for bail, according to regulations; the authority should response within a week.

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Protest, Social, Torture | Comments Off on Lawyer Guo Feixiong Tortured While in Detention

Grass Roots Pressures Forge China’s Civil Rights Movement (3)

Posted by Author on October 1, 2006


Radio Free Asia, HONG KONG, 2006.09.25- ( cont’d )

Changes in Constitution

“The only thing they can do is to hire mafia thugs to do it for them. This means that there is nothing we can do in the normal run of events about these beatings and harassment,” Guo said.

“If we go to the police or to the courts we will get nowhere. There is no channel we can use to protect our rights. All we can do is blow the whistle on what they are doing.”

“I believe that the civil rights movement in China will become a force for social change, and that those responsible for these travesties of justice will be held responsible,” Guo said.

Even in highly publicized cases such as the bloody crackdown on peasant protesters in the southern Chinese city of Shanwei in December 2005 and the bid by the villagers of Taishi to remove their elected chief earlier that year, the authorities sentenced a group of protesters it describes as ringleaders to jail terms of up to five years for their part in the protest.

Behind the scenes, however, alarm bells are ringing for the Communist Party.

In a two-part feature story on the loss of rural land to development projects pushed forward by greedy and corrupt officials, the official Xinhua news agency quoted Premier Wen Jiabao as sending out a warning to the Party rank and file that “illegal” seizures of land in rural areas could lead to instability. (to be comt’d…)

Page: 1 2 3

Related:
China’s hidden unrest, by Christin Jones, cpj.org, 2006

Posted in China, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Law, Lawyer, Life, Official, People, Police, Politics, Protest, Report, Rural, Social | Comments Off on Grass Roots Pressures Forge China’s Civil Rights Movement (3)

Three cyber-dissidents arrested in past 2 weeks in China

Posted by Author on September 19, 2006


Reporters Without Borders, 19 September 2006-

Reporters Without Borders called today for the release of three cyber-dissidents who have been arrested in the past two weeks – Zhang Jianhong, Yang Maodong and Chen Shuqing – and voiced concern about an increase in the censorship of online publications.

“The current crackdown on pro-democracy and human rights activists, which includes harassment, threats and arbitrary arrests, is very worrying,” the press freedom organisation said. “The authorities are also trying to gag cyber-dissidents by shutting down their online publications. They have gone so far as claim that all the banned sites have been involved in criminal activities but it is clear this censorship is above all politically-motivated.”

A 48-year-old writer and poet using the pseudonym Li Hong, Zhang was arrested on 6 September in Ningbo, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, and was charged with “incitement to subvert the state’s authority.” Twenty policemen went to his home with a search warrant and seized the disk drives from his two computers and his phone book. They also interrogated his wife, Dong Min, about the company he kept and the articles he posted on foreign websites.

Zhang, a member of the Chinese branch of the independent writers association PEN, already spent a year and a half in a reeducation-through-work camp for “counter-revolutionary propaganda” after getting involved in the 1989 pro-democracy movement. He founded the literary website Aiqinhai.org in August 2005 and was its editor until the authorities shut it down in March 2006. He also wrote regularly for sites such as Boxun and The Epoch Times.

Writer and civil rights activist Yang, who is better known by the name Guo Feixiong, was arrested at his home in the city Guangzhou (in the southern province of Guangdong) on 14 September 2006. Police with a warrant carried out a search and seized three computers and personal notes. He has been charged with “illegal business” for allegedly publishing and selling 20,000 books in an improper manner by setting up an fake publishing house and using an ISBN (international standard book number) without permission.

His wife, Zhang Qing, insists that the charges are “completely baseless.” He is currently being held by the Public Security Bureau in Guangzhou. His wife tried to visit him yesterday but was not given permission. Aged 40, Yang is known, among other things, for supporting the peasant population of the village of Taishi (in Guangdong province) who protested against local government corruption in September 2005.

He helped them get legal aid for a lawsuit against the village chief and wrote many articles about them for websites such as the forum Yannan, which was shut down on 1 October 2005. After being accused of “personally leading demonstrations by villagers with the aim of overthrowing the local authorities,” he was arrested for the first time on 6 October 2005 on a charge of “disturbing the peace.” He was released three and a half months later without being tried. Since then he has been constantly harassed by the police and beaten three times, the last time in August.

Chen, who has a masters in biology and is a member of the banned China Democracy Party (CDP), was arrested on 14 September when he went to a local police station in Hangzhou (in Zhejiang province) in response to a summons from the police. Like Zhang, he was charged with “incitement to subvert the state’s authority.” The police search his home and seized his computer’s disk drives as well as personal documents.

Chen was already detained for four months in 1999 for helping to create the CDP. After his release, he studied for a law degree and passed the examination to become a lawyer in 2005 but the Zhejiang Bureau of Justice refused him a lawyer’s licence on the grounds that he had posted articles on the Internet that violated the constitution. Chen appealed and re-appealed against this decision before the courts but lost both times.

Related:

Nearly 100 Rights Defenders Attacked in Beijing Area in half monthSept. 11, 2009

Posted in China, Guo Feixiong, Journalist, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Speech, Technology | Comments Off on Three cyber-dissidents arrested in past 2 weeks in China

Nearly 100 Rights Defenders Attacked in Beijing Area in half month

Posted by Author on September 17, 2006


Chinese Human Rights Defenders, Sept. 11, 2009– (abstract)

Since mid-August, police all over China have carried out a centrally coordinated clampdown on rights activities. Without due process or legal procedure, large numbers of writers, intellectuals, lawyers and rights activists have been subjected to house arrest and other forms of tightened control.

In Beijing alone, nearly 100 people have been affected. They include Liu Xiaobo, Jiang Qisheng, Wang Lixiong, Wei Se, Zhang Zuhua, Jiao Guobiao, Teng Biao, Li Heping, Jiang Tianyong, Li Baiguang, Fan Yafeng, Zhang Lihui, Li Fengping, Li Jingsong, Li Subin, Hou Wenzhuo, Li Hai, Hu Jia (twice detained for questioning in recent days), Liu Huo, Qi Zhiyong, Liu Jingsheng, Ma Wendu, Li Jinping and the family and contacts of lawyer Gao Zhisheng. Another, Zhao Xin, was forcefully returned to Yunnan Province.

Highlights of the crackdown in Augest

On August 9, 2006, human rights activist Guo Feixiong was beaten up by a gang of police officers on the train to Beijing. On the same day, Yao Baohua and Zhou Yaqin, representing landless peasants in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province were put under criminal detention by the local police and charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb social order.” They had been seeking to petition the local government and were expressing their views peacefully.

On August 11, Tan Kai, an environmentalist from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province and founder of the NGO called “Green Watch,” was convicted of “illegally acquiring state secrets” and sentenced by the local court to 18 months of imprisonment. He had been protesting illegal pollution. The same day Zan Aizong, a Zhejiang correspondent for “China Ocean News,” received seven days of administrative detention for reporting the demolition of a church in Xiaoshan city. The Hangzhou Public Security Bureau accused Zan Aizong of “spreading rumors and disturbing public order”.

On August 15, human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng was secretly arrested by police in Dongying city in Shandong. Gao had spoken out about his concerns about violations of human rights. The authorities have yet to announce the specific reasons for his arrest. Since his arrest, the police have placed his wife and children under close and invasive surveillance.

On August 17, in Yinan County in Shandong Province, Dr. Xu Zhiyong, who had been providing legal assistance to the activist Chen Guangcheng, was accused of theft. Yinan police detained Xu, as well as two lawyers, Zhang Lihui and Li Fangping, who were accompanying him. They were taken to Jiehu police station for questioning.

On August 18, other activists, including Deng Yongliang and lawyer Zhang Jiankang, were also detained by police in Yinan, Shandong, and their whereabouts remain unknown.

On August 19, the Yinan County People’s Court sentenced blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng to four years and three months in prison for “gathering a crowd to disrupt traffic order” and “willful damage to property”. The authorities refused to let Chen’s lawyers represent him in court.

On August 20, Li Jianhong and Ouyang Xiaorong, both members of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, were beaten by police in Qingdao, Shandong and forcibly returned to Shanghai and Yunnan.

On August 22, rights representative Liu Zhengyou in Zigong City, Sichuan Province was badly beaten by unidentified thugs right before the eyes of police. Liu has been urging the government to negotiate with peasants to settle a land dispute fairly and had been participating with the farmers in peaceful demonstrations.

On August 25, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court sentenced Zhao Yan, a researcher at the Beijing office of New York Times, to three years of imprisonment on charges of “fraud.” In a trial that drew much international scrutiny, Zhao was found not guilty of “divulging state secrets.” Zhao Yan had been paying close attention to issues such as peasant land rights and fair compensation. He had also been providing legal aid to help people begin litigation against corrupt officials.

On August 31, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court delivered a judgment in an initial hearing for Cheng Xiang (Ching Cheung), the chief China correspondent for the Singapore newspaper The Straits Times. Cheng was found guilty of “espionage” and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment plus one year of deprivation of political rights. The court also confiscated 300,000 yuan of Cheng’s personal property.

– from China: Intensified Attack on Human Rights Defenders, Sept. 11, 2009

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Chen Guangcheng, China, Ching Cheong, City resident, Dissident, Gao Zhisheng, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, intellectual, Journalist, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Police, Politics, Social, Zhao Yan | Comments Off on Nearly 100 Rights Defenders Attacked in Beijing Area in half month

China Detains Top Guangdong Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong (cont’d)

Posted by Author on September 15, 2006


Radio Free Asia, 2006.09.15- (cont’d)

Moral authorityguo feixiong

“There are still a lot of people downstairs [watching me],” Guo told “Different Voices” host Jill Ku. “But I haven’t been out for a month or more because I’ve been publicizing the arrest of Gao Zhisheng to the outside world. I don’t care what they do.”

“They can’t do anything against us legally because we haven’t put a foot wrong. They are reduced to using violence, like the mafia, against us,” he said, adding that he expected worse still to come.

“The aim of the civil rights movement is to protect the legal rights of citizens, of the individual, so that China will progress towards a society under the rule of law. The reaction of the authoritarian regime against the civil rights movement has been ferocious. Given that this is their attitude I think it can only get worse for civil rights activists from now on,” he said.

He said civil rights activists who engaged with the authorities within the law had a powerful effect on the system, however.

“It’s really got to the point where I would welcome the opportunity to do four or five years in jail now, so that I could exert some moral force through my non-cooperation with the authorities,” Guo said.

Taishi village connection

Asked if he had any messages for his friends and fellow activists, he repeated the words to said to his wife shortly before being taken away Thursday.

“I would tell them to stay calm,” he said.

“This is going to be a very testing time for the civil rights movement, and not to fear the authoritarian regime. But there is a limit, even to their power.”

Gao lost his law license after he criticized the government for its treatment of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement.

He also began a rolling hunger strike earlier in the year to protest the ill-treatment of lawyers and rights activists at the hands of police and local government officials.

The protest began in reaction to the beating of Guo Feixiong. Guo was a close associate of Gao, and both lawyers had worked on a number of sensitive cases, including the Taishi village standoff. (END)

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Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Politics, SE China, Social, Taishi village | Comments Off on China Detains Top Guangdong Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong (cont’d)

China Detains Top Guangdong Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong

Posted by Author on September 15, 2006


Radio Free Asia, 2006.09.15-Lawyer Guo Feixiong

HONG KONG—Authorities in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have detained prominent civil rights lawyer Guo Feixiong on suspicion of “running an illegal business.”

Guo, who is also known as Yang Maodong, was taken from his home at 9 a.m. Thursday by plainclothes officers and is being held at the Guangzhou No.1 Detention Center, his wife said Friday. (Guo Feixiong, left, photo from The epoch Times)

“Yesterday morning as I was taking our son to kindergarten,” Guo’s wife Zhang Qing told RFA’s Mandarin service. “I had just arrived at the gate when I was detained by a big chap who grabbed me by both arms and pulled me onto a minivan. He said he was from the Public Security Bureau.”

She had been driven to see her husband, who told her to stay calm. Then he was taken away, and Zhang was handed a search warrant for her home and a document saying that Guo was being held under “criminal detention,” she said.

‘Stay calm’

Police took away three computers, handwritten papers and notebooks, and a cellphone, said Zhang, who was herself questioned for several hours at the local police station.

Guo first came to media attention as part of the legal team helping the villagers of Taishi, Guangdong province, to prepare a recall case against their elected village chief amid allegations of corruption during a land deal.

No stranger to police harassment, Guo was detained, formally arrested, then released without charge late last year.

He has also reported severe beatings at the hands of the police following the bitter and long-running dispute, during which he served as a member of Beijing-based lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s law firm.

Gao was detained Aug. 15 while on a family visit to Dongying city in the eastern province of Shandong. His wife and child have been incommunicado ever since, and Guo has said he fears they are being held under house arrest.

In an interview broadcast by RFA’s Mandarin service on Sept. 12, Guo appeared to anticipate further trouble as a result of his continued civil rights work, which included a lawsuit against police for at least one of the beatings. (to be cont’d…)

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Posted in China, City resident, Family, Guangdong, Guo Feixiong, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Social, Taishi village | Comments Off on China Detains Top Guangdong Rights Lawyer Guo Feixiong