On the one-year anniversary of the detention of rights defender Guo Feixiong (also known as Yang Maodong), Human Rights in China (HRIC) has been sent an essay by his wife, Zhang Qing, entitled “In Commemoration of the First Anniversary of My Husband Guo Feixiong’s Detention: Urging for His Unconditional Release.” (The article is appended to the Chinese version of this press release.)
Zhang Qing’s letter details Guo’s current detention and treatment, and also examines previous instances in which Guo was detained and otherwise harassed by the police for his rights defense activities. Guo Feixiong and Zhang Qing also maintain that the prosecution used false evidence and testimony during Guo’s trial.
At Guo Feixiong’s request, Zhang Qing earlier wrote a letter to the Chinese leadership, accusing Guangzhou judicial officials and Shenyang public security officials of unlawful behavior. Zhang sent the letter to President Hu Jintao by email on August 14, and by express mail on August 20. She received confirmation that President Hu’s office received the letter, and now hopes the central government will give priority to China’s international image by rectifying this case, which has aroused concern worldwide.
Guo Feixiong, who provided legal advice in a number of controversial rights defense cases, including serving as the main legal counsel in 2005's Taishi Village incident, was detained on September 14, 2006, and formally arrested on September 30, 2006, on suspicion of “illegal business activity.” According to the indictment against Guo, the allegation stems from some editing work he did for a book published in Liaoning Province regarding a political scandal in Shenyang City in 2001. Prior to his trial on July 9, 2007, Guo's case was sent back by the procuratorate for repeated supplementary investigations in both Guangdong and Liaoning.
Guo has complained of torture and other inhumane treatment during his long detention, and has gone on hunger strike numerous times in protest. On June 5, 2007, HRIC received a letter from Zhang Qing detailing Guo's torture in detention and asking HRIC to forward the letter to Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. Guo also raised his ill treatment in front of the trial judge on July 9, and further argued that “ninety per cent of my 175 interrogation sessions in detention were related to Taishi Village, and I am therefore clearly being politically persecuted.”
HRIC remains deeply concerned about reports that Guo Feixiong has been abused and subjected to torture in detention, and joins with Zhang Qing in calling on the authorities to ensure his safety and undertake a thorough investigation into these reports. HRIC is also concerned over irregularities in Guo’s trial, such as the long-delayed verdict and the procuratorate’s repeated requests for extra time for supplementary investigation. “A system that relies on politically motivated charges to silence rights defenders undermines both human rights and the rule of law,” said executive director Sharon Hom.
For more information on Guo Feixiong’s case, see:
“Guo Feixiong Appeals to UN Special Rapporteur on Torture,” June 5, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/40742;
Rights Defender Guo Feixiong’s Trial Date Set,” May 21, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/38474;
“Rights Defender Guo Feixiong Maintains Innocence, is Formally Indicted,” May 15, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/37607;
“Guo Feixiong Transferred Again Pending Trial,” April 2, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/35093;
“Guo Feixiong’s Case Delayed, Transferred,” January 22, 2007, http://iso.hrichina.org/public/contents/32199;
“Guo Feixiong Tortured, Sister and Brother Harassed,” January 16, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/32161.