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Guo Feixiong Tortured, Sister and Brother Harassed

January 16, 2007

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that the brother and sister of rights defender Guo Feixiong have been harassed by local officials, while Guo himself has been subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in detention.

According to news reports and HRIC's own sources in China, during a prison visit on January 11, 2007, Guo told his lawyer, Hu Xiao, that he was subjected to physical abuse and was handcuffed and shackled to his bed for more than 40 days. Guo said he was deprived of sleep for days at a time and subjected to around-the-clock interrogation, and went on hunger strike for 25 days in protest. Since his detention, Guo has reportedly gone on hunger strike for a total of 40 days. Sources say that because Guo has complained about his treatment, one of the interrogating police officers purposely inflicted flesh wounds on himself and has claimed that Guo attacked him. Guo has reportedly been interrogated nearly one hundred times since he was detained on September 14, 2006, on suspicion of "illegal business activity."

In addition, sources told HRIC that on January 13, 2007, a female police officer from the Public Security Bureau (PSB) of Shiyan City, Hubei Province, located Guo's sister through the leader of her work unit, then told her to "psychologically prepare" herself for the likelihood that Guo would be sentenced to five to eight years in prison because of the severity of his crimes. On the afternoon of the same day, Guo's brother in Hubei's Xiangfan City reportedly received a telephone call from the local PSB saying someone wanted to see him, and that Guo's case was being transferred to Liaoning Province. Upon learning of this phone call, Guo's wife, Zhang Qing, immediately telephoned Guo's lawyer, Hu Xiao, who then telephoned the procuratorate in Guangzhou, where Guo is being held. An official responsible for Guo's case assured Hu that there was no question of Guo's case being transferred to another province.