China Human Rights Briefing January 31-February 4, 2006

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China Human Rights Briefing

(January 31-February 4, 2006)

January 31: Released Rights Activist Subjected to Close Surveillance, Publicizing Torture of Taishi Villager while in Detention

The activist Yang Maodong (known as Guo Feixiong), who was released on December 27, 2005, after being detained for 106 days without charge, reported on his personal blog “Citizens’ Rights Forum ( that he was closely followed since January 29 by plain-clothes persons, who are apparently collaborating with police. Yang now lives in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. When he repeatedly reported his being followed around by strangers to local police station, he was told that these persons were part of the “functionary” of the police carrying out “official duty”. According to Yang Maodong, however, he was able to evade surveillance and visit Taishi Village outside Guangzhou despite tight security guarding every entrance to the village. The same group of men tagging him in Guangzhou appeared together with local officials in Taishi Village. After Yang returned to Guangzhou on January 31, he reported that his followers changed guard: they were now openly State Security officers. He said he recognized one policeman who interrogated him in prison.

Yang Maodong also provided information collected from his visit to Taishi village. Feng Shengqiu, who was also released at about the same time as Yang’s release, told Yang he was beaten and tortured in detention. Two villagers, on elderly woman and a teenage boy, meanwhile, received some compensation. The two were beaten by police and injured during the August 16 2005 clash when villagers protested rejection to their motion to vote to oust a village chief, whom they suspected corruption.

(Contact for Yang Maodong, cell phones 13424142485, 13552499429, email

Feb. 1: Guangzhou Lawyer Beaten After Visiting Activist under Close Police Surveillance

In the afternoon of February 1, the Guangzhou-based lawyer Tang Jingling was beaten and harassed by unidentified men who had followed him. Mr. Tang was returning home after he visited the activist Yang Maodong (Guo Feixiong), who had been under aggressive police tailgating for the last few days. Five people followed Tang around in the city for two hours, then, they started beating him. They kicked him, stepped on his feet, and beat him on the back of his head. Tang eventually got away because this took place in busy streets. He reported the beating to a police station nearby. After a friend arrived at the police station to pick him up, they were followed all the way home by two taxis. Tang Jingling was laid-off by his law firm in November 2005 because he represented Taishi villagers who bought a case against local officials suspected of corruption. Taishi villagers’ demand to hold re-election was rejected though they had gathered enough signatures to support their motion.

February 2: Linyi Villagers Protested Chen Guangcheng’s House Arrest on Its 160th Day

According to the Beijing lawyer and legal scholar Teng Biao, who has been in phone contact with Linyi villagers, villagers briefly protested the 5-months long house arrest of Chen Guangcheng, a local activist, “barefoot lawyer,” who provided legal aid to victims of family planning violence. On February 2, one villager, Chen Hua, who was under administrative detention for 15 days in September for supporting Mr. Chen Guangcheng, was beaten severely that he was bleeding from the nose and mouth after he confronted the guards placed outside Mr. Chen’s house for their rude behaviors. When police from the town arrived at the scene, they covered up for the guards and rejected villagers’ demand to know their names. Police from Yinan Country Public Security Bureau also rushed to the scene in 8 or 9 police cars. They too refused to let the villagers identify the guards. About 200 villagers gathered in front of Chen Guangcheng’s house protesting the beating and demanding his release from house arrest. February 2 was the 160th day of Chen Guangcheng’s extra-judicial detention at his house. Police set up a headquarter in the village, coordinating policemen, hired security guards, and government officials who make four shifts a day, 24 hours, to enforce the house arrest of Chen Guangcheng and his wife.

February 3-4: Protesting Aggressive Surveillance, Yang Maodong Detained for 12 Hours and Beaten

In the morning of February 3, Yang Maodong was taken into the Linhe police station in Guangzhou City after he protested aggressive surveillance by plain-clothes police functionaries, which turned physical. He and his family (including two children) were harassed and ostentatiously photographed by these men in public despite the family’s strong protest. At the police station, he was forced to stay because he refused to hand over the film which had the photos he took of those who harassed him. The stand off lasted for 12 hours. Eventually, he signed a paper stating “failure of peaceful resolution” and was let go at 12:30am, February 4. However, before he even exited the police station, he was dragged out of the building by a group unidentified men hanging out in front of the station. The beating went on in front of uniformed policemen, who did nothing to stop it while Yang screamed from the pain. Guo Feixiong later described the beating as “very professional.” They twisted his arms behind him, pushed him on the ground, and kicked his lower back repeatedly. They took the film, put the camera back on his neck, helped him stand up, and walked away. The lawyer Tang Jingling received text messages from Yang in the police station at about 4pm on 3 February and went to the station to try to obtain his release without success. He publicized news of the detention on the Internet. Yang spoke to Tang shortly after the beating.

Contact: Zhong Yan

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