Guo Feixiong

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Guo Feixiong

Guo Feixiong (Chinese: 郭飞雄; born 2 August 1966)[1] is the pen name of Yang Maodong (杨茂东), a Chinese human rights lawyer from Guangdong province who is often identified with the Weiquan movement. Guo is known as a dissident writer and "barefoot lawyer", who has worked on several controversial issues to defend the rights of marginalized groups. Prior to his 2006 imprisonment, Guo worked as a legal advisor to the Shanghai Shengzhi Law Firm.[2]

In 2005 and 2006, human rights groups reported that Guo was taken into custody and beaten on multiple occasions for his human rights advocacy, including his work on the Taishi village standoff. The beating of Guo Feixiong was reportedly one of the catalysts behind a rolling nationwide hunger strike organized by Guo's friend and associate Gao Zhisheng.[3]

Guo was arrested on 30 September 2006 and detained on charges of "illegal business activity" connection with the publication of a book on a political scandal in Liaoning province, Shenyang Political Earthquake. After being held in pre-trial detention for 17 months, he was sentenced to five years of imprisonment at the Meizhou Prison on 14 November 2007 in what was characterized as a "trial marked with serious procedural irregularities."[4] In addition to his sentence, Guo was fined 40,000 yuan. Family members reported that Guo was tortured in custody, deprived of sleep, and shocked with electric batons.[2][5]

Guo was released on 13 September 2011, and stated that he remained committed to the cause of human rights advocacy.[2]

On 8 August 2013, Guo was again arrested on suspicion of "gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place". On 10 December 2013, the Tianhe District Branch of the Guangzhou Municipal Public Security Bureau recommended that Guo be indicted for the crime of "gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place", along with Sun Desheng, another activist.[6]

On 29 October 2013, the United States House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations held a hearing on the circumstances surrounding China's detention of Guo Feixiong.[7]

Guo is the recipient of the 2015 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk.[8]

See also[edit]