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.
|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 Feixiong a fair trial by allowing him immediate access to his appeal lawyer.
|— Sharon Hom, Executive Director of HRIC
“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.
After his trial and conviction, Guo was transferred to Meizhou Prison in December 2007, where he was brutally beaten by an inmate while 200 others watched. When he went on a hunger strike to protest his abuse, he was forced fed a liquid that made him vomit for more than a week and turned his urine red.
In a letter to HRIC on October 29, 2008, Zhang said that the authorities had created many obstacles to prevent Guo from going forward with his appeal, including intercepting many letters Guo wrote in an attempt to retain a lawyer in early 2008.
After Guo finally succeeded in retaining a Beijing-based law firm in May 2008 to handle his appeal, he agreed to wait until after the Beijing Olympics before proceeding. The prison authorities then required two lawyers to apply in-person at the Guangdong Provincial Prison Administrative Bureau for permission to see Guo. In October, after traveling to Guangdong and going through the proper application procedure to see Guo in Meizhou, Hu waited for several days but never received an answer.
For more information on Guo Feixiong, see:
- "HRIC September Take Action: Put an End to Torture in China," September 10, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/67947;
- "About the Individual: Guo Feixiong," September 2, 2008, http://www.ir2008.com/09/about.php;
- "Spotlight: Letter to Human Rights in China about Recent Developments with Guo Feixiong," September 2, 2008, http://www.ir2008.com/09/spotlight.php;
- "Take Action for Guo Feixiong," September 2, 2008, http://www.ir2008.com/09/action.php;
- "Press Release: Children of Rights Defender Guo Feixiong Barred from School Enrollment," June 30, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/62475;
- "Press Release: Zhang Qing Sends Open Letter to Wen Jiabao Regarding Her Children’s Enrollment in School," [张青为子女上学致温家宝公开信] June 30, 2008, http://gb.hrichina.org/gate/gb/hrichina.org/public/contents/16416;
- "Statement: HRIC Condemns Official Interference in Access to Justice in Rights Defense Cases: Hu Jia, Guo Feixiong," April 21, 2008, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/49031;
- "Press Advisory: Guo Feixiong's Wife issues Statement on the Decision Not to Appeal," November 27, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/45706;
- "Statement: HRIC Condemns Abuse and Torture of Chinese Legal Advisor," December 31, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/46316;
- "Rights Defender Guo Feixiong Sentenced to 5 years in Prison," November 14, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/45547;
- "Wife Appeals for Guo Feixiong's Release," September 14, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/44913;
- "Further Investigation Delays Guo Feixiong Verdict," July 26, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/44417;
- "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://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/32199;
- "Guo Feixiong Tortured, Sister and Brother Harassed," January 16, 2007, http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/32161.