Update to UN on case of Guo Feixiong – April 1, 2016Comments Off on Update to UN on case of Guo Feixiong – April 1, 2016
Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association
Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers
Special Rapporteur on the right to health
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) hereby respectfully submits updated information on the arbitrary detention of Mr. Yang Maodong (杨茂东, also known as Guo Feixiong, 郭飞雄). This update follows the communiqué on behalf of Mr. Yang that we submitted on February 5, 2014 (see: https://www.nchrd.org/2014/02/submission-to-un-on-liu-yuandong-guo-feixiong-february-5-2014/) and further information submitted on July 14, 2015 (see: https://www.nchrd.org/2015/08/update-to-un-on-case-of-guo-feixiong-july-14-2015/). At this time, CHRD is submitting a second update since Mr. Yang’s case continues to be fraught with procedural violations, and allegedly has been subjected to ongoing mistreatment, causing his health to deteriorate rapidly.
After Yang Maodong was transferred to Yangchun (阳春) Prison in Guangdong Province on February 21, 2016, prison authorities continued to mistreat Yang, in violation of domestic regulations and international standards, in addition to denying a request from Yang’s family to provide Yang a comprehensive health examination. After a family visit on February 29 (only the second such visit since Yang’s initial detention in 2013), Yang’s sister, Yang Maoping (杨茂平), who is a doctor by profession, reported that the 50-year-old activist suffers from inhumane living conditions in prison which have led to deteriorating health and significant wealth loss. Yang informed his sister that he has been deprived of sleep; he can only sleep several hours a night, due to overcrowding inside his cell and a high noise level outside the cell. Yang’s sister observed that he has lost approximately one-third of his weight since the time he had been detained. The activist also told her that he experienced great difficulty in standing up (issues with his lower body were also noted in previous communications). Yang Maoping believes there are problems with her brother’s lumbar spine, symptoms resulting from previous mistreatment and long-term calcium deficiency (Yang had been denied outdoor time during his entire detention at Tianhe District Detention Center, from August 2013 to February 2016). Yang’s sister told prison authorities that she would pay for a comprehensive health examination for Yang, but officials denied her request.
Throughout Yang Maoping’s visit, prison authorities were present and had monitored the whole exchange, a situation that applies psychological pressure on both the prisoner and his sister. On multiple occasions, officials even interrupted conversations between Yang and his sister. At one point, an officer asserted that Yang Maodong would be required to work, but Yang’s sister argued that his physical health puts in no condition to enable him to perform labor. In addition, Yang’s overall worsening health is exacerbated by the fact that there is no surveillance camera in his prison cell, causing him to worry greatly and dread the possibility of unaccounted acts of violence and abuse from both guards and fellow inmates. Yang Maodong was severely tortured while imprisoned from 2006-2011, and he is deeply concerned that if he is subjected to similar acts of torture, perpetrators would not be held accountable. He firmly expressed to Yang Maoping that he would not commit suicide.
The mistreatment of Yang Maodong not only has violated many principles under the “Body of Princes for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment,” including Principle 24, but also rules and regulations under Chinese law. According to Article 37 of China’s amended Criminal Procedure Law, recording or monitoring conversations between lawyers and incarcerated clients is forbidden. However, Chinese authorities continued to perpetrate the unlawful practice of monitoring, such as during the most recent meeting between Yang and his lawyers, on March 22, 2016. Yang’s lawyers also noticed the activist appearing extremely pale, and they are worried about his deteriorating health. According to “The Administrative Measures for Life and Sanitation of Prison Inmates” (drafted by China’s Ministry of Justice in 2010 and subsequently put into trial phase), newly-incarcerated prisoners are given physical health examinations, and all prisoners are given periodic physical check-ups. Another set of regulations pertaining to physical examination at detention facilities have not been enforced in Yang Maodong’s case—the “Regulations on Administrative Detention Facilities,” which also guarantees that a detainee is entitled to medical care.
Date of Submission: April 1, 2016