Treatment in detention of human rights defender in China

Who we wrote to

President of the People’s Republic of China, General Secretary Xi Jinping.

What’s the issue

We’re concerned about the detention of human rights defender Yang Maodong, commonly known as Guo Feixiong.

Mr Feixiong was sentenced to six years of detention in 2013 on charges of having made a public protest against official censorship of a Guangzhou newspaper. He’s currently detained in Yangchun Prison in the province of Guandong.

We’re particularly concerned about the health of Mr Feixiong, who has been on hunger strike since 9 May 2016, as a response to alleged degrading and humiliating treatment he has been subjected to while in detention.

We’re deeply concerned about an alleged lack of adequate medical attention and ill-treatment, which allegedly includes:

  • sleep deprivation
  • harassment
  • humiliating medical procedures filmed by prison officials for public release

We understand that Mr Feixiong has been force-fed twice every other day since 1 May 2016 and is being given intravenous supplements every other day against his will.

It’s feared that Mr Feixiong has been targeted because of his work as a human rights defender. Such measures would have a negative effect on the work of other human rights defenders in China, as well as China’s image and reputation.

What we asked for

We urged the president to:

  • guarantee the physical and psychological safety and integrity of Mr Feixiong whilst he remains in detention, and ensure that he immediately receives the required medical treatment
  • secure an independence and expeditious investigation into the instances of ill-treatment allegedly suffered by Mr Feixiong in Yangchun Prison in order to identify and punish the perpetrators
  • ensure the safety of all lawyers and human rights defenders in China and the establishment of a viable environment to enable them to carry out their work free from threats, intimidation, harassment, restrictions, or reprisals