Initially published on Boxun, Beijing time, September 20, 2012 Reporter: Li Fang
Translated by China Aid Association
“Since the Jasmine Revolution, this is probably the first time rights defenders in China have seen a notice of summon.”
In the evening of September 19, this reporter interviewed Guangdong’s famous rights defender Guo Feixiong on the phone, who gave an update on his current situation.
He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man. On August 2, Guo Feixiong went to Beijing to visit his friends, but he was forcibly taken back to Guangzhou by agents of the Domestic Security Protection Department. Next day, Guo Feixiong made another attempt to go to Beijing and this time he succeeded. Finally he got to exercise his right to climb up the Great Wall and had a picture of him taken there in case he is forced into “disappearance” again.
“Probably it is because of the anti-Japan demonstrations happening nonstop in one place after another throughout China, but more importantly, it is due to, as we all know, the upcoming 18th National Congress of CPC. The Domestic Security Protection agents of Guangdong seem extremely nervous. They are concerned that we may organize demonstrations and protests, and they are even more worried that anti-Japan demonstrations go out of control and turn into anti-government, pro-democracy demonstrations and protests. Just like the demonstration of 1989, it started as a commemoration of Hu Yaobang but later changed into something else. They know about it very well, so they are worried. As a result, they have been cracking down harshly lately. Many were put under house arrest and battered.” said Guo Feixiong.
Guo Feixiong was illegally detained for 12 hours by the Domestic Security Protection agents for returning an mp4 to attorney Liu Zhengqing. At the same time, attorney Liu was also detained illegally for 12 hours. Guo Feixiong said that what angered him the most was that attorney Liu was on his way to pick up his child from school. The longtime detention carried out by the Domestic Security Protection agents was very inhumane because “what if children wander around and get lost when adults fail to pick them up?” Besides, attorney Liu did not break any law, and without giving any reason, and even without showing the notice of summon, the Domestic Security Protection agents just went ahead and detained a lawyer!
“This is what I feel the most scary thing. For over two years, the rights defenders I know of, they were forced to ‘have tea’ with security agents, summoned, put under house arrest, detained, and they have never had the Domestic Security Protection agents or police show them the notice of summon or police ID. This is a huge failure of the rule of law, and this is the greatest danger for a society, because it means that anyone could be randomly taken to a dark place and any citizen could just randomly disappear while their family and friends have no way to find out.” said Guo Feixiong.
Therefore, Guo Feixiong adamantly refuses any form of “having tea”, and the Domestic Security Protection agents or police must show him their ID papers if they want to take him away. He is adamant about this, believing that law-enforcement agents must behave according to law. Any behavior that limits the rights of citizens must be backed up with a reason, an ID, a piece of evidence, and an explanation, which must be given to citizens. “In Yang Jia’s case years ago, he just wanted an explanation. A citizen asked for an explanation, but was denied. He made a big deal out of it. So you see how important rationale, evidence, explanation, and administration according to law are, and how dangerous it could be when these are discarded.” said Guo Feixiong.
Guo Feixiong said that he could be detained, but attorney Liu had to be allowed to pick up his child from school. Meanwhile, with great patience, he persuaded the Domestic Security Protection agents to handle citizens according to law and give him a rationale for their actions. Frustrated by his persistent nagging and requesting, the Domestic Security Protection agents compromised and made an unprecedented exception to their normal practice: they produced Guo Feixiong a “notice of summon”. This is indeed very rare in their history of cracking down on citizens. Normally they operate without showing any papers.
The “notice of summon” Guo Feixiong obtained with great perseverance
However, the reason for summon is still funny because of its absurdity – “disruption of public order”. The reporter asked Guo Feixiong how he made of it, he said with laughter, “This is groundless. I just returned an item to my friend. What order did that disrupt? But I let them off the hook because they showed me a legal paper for me to sign and endorse — this is already a very rare progress on their part since the Jasmine Revolution.”
“On August 2, I went to Beijing and was taken back to Guangzhou by force. During the whole process, I was dealt with by four organs, i.e. Beijing Taipingzhuang Police Station, Beijing Domestic Security Protection Squad, Guangzhou Domestic Security Protection Squad, and Linhe West Road Police Station of Tianhe District. Not one of them showed me a notice of summon or any papers for detention. I demanded it persistently, and the reply of the Domestic Security Protection agents was just shameless and without scruples, ‘Appeal to whoever you want to. This is how we operate!’”
Many were put under house arrest and battered before the 18th National Congress of CPC
Guo Feixing told the reporter that recently, many rights defenders and dissenters had been suppressed, battered and intimidated. “In Shanghai, Feng Zhenghu went out of his home today, was beat up and got injuries on the face. He has long been detained at home and is not allowed to go outside. In Jiangxi, independent candidate Liu Ping was punched with heavy blows. The Domestic Security Protection agents have mastered a skill for beating people. They left no obvious marks on her body, but beat her in a way that made her heart race. Hu Jia was also beat up a few days ago. It is posted on the internet. He is also forbidden to leave home.”
Guo Feixiong in 2007
Guo Feixiong said whenever he left home, he would be tailed. Usually seven to eight people guarded the entrance of his home downstairs around the clock. He knew them well, but did not want to reveal their names. “I want to give them some leeway. We defend citizens’ rights, including these agents’ rights. We shall not seek revenge at any time, but rather be forgiving. As a matter of fact, after the Wang Lijun incident and the Chen Guangcheng incident, the Domestic Security Protection agents are scared. They’re afraid of losing their jobs or being punished and retaliated against someday. So I always tell my friends not to be provoked to anger when treated illegally by these agents, and try to remember their employers and their names.”
It is heard that Xuzhou’s prominent dissenter Guo Shaokun is currently being controlled by the authorities. The reporter saw an email he forwarded in which he said, “Now is a sensitive time for them and they’re going crazy. Please take care! I even received warnings for making a petition, and the consequences could have been worse.” thus he warned his friends.
Obama will have to get himself an ID card if he’s in China ( photoshopped by netizens)
Street activists suddenly became quiet
The reporter learned that the street activists in Guangdong that frequently took to the street and held up posters a while ago had suddenly became quiet lately. When asked why by the reporter, Guo Feixiong said, “About that, I can only say: I can’t talk about it now… for their safety, and to protect some that we don’t want to lose. There’re lots of things I can’t tell you. Hope you can understand my dilemma.”
“What I will tell the outside is: this year, some Domestic Security Protection officials of Guangdong Province and Guangzhou City dealt with street activists holding up posters very harshly. It is worse than battering. It’s beyond your imagination. It is very worrying and shows a very dangerous tendency. I can’t tell you what happened and I will not reveal these officials’ names, hoping to leave some leeway and spare them from graver danger. When facing stability-maintaining agents who habitually ignore the law, street activists are in severe danger. We will pay attention to their situation, but do not want to place them in greater danger.” said Guo Feixiong.
Picture of Guo Feixiong with bruises from beatings due to his rights defense activities
To protect more rights defenders and dissenters from being battered, intimidated and detained in the authority’s “stability maintenance defense war”, Guo Feixiong and his friends proposed to establish the National Counter-battering Alliance. Nevertheless, in the piercing cold wind, how many people will speak up and respond to this advocacy aiming to defend the baseline human right – the right of not being battered randomly?
Guo Feixiong made this appeal, “I hope the Domestic Security Protection Guards and stability maintenance agents will bring their actions in line with the rule of law. Before we do anything, we first of all are human beings. Let’s be human before we do anything. Don’t carry things to extremes. We also want to call on rights defenders throughout the country to defend their own rights according to law, stand up boldly and speak up lawfully and rationally.”
Guo Feixiong’s wife and children who fled to the United Stated
Attached: the brief biography of Guo Feixiong
Guo Feixiong (birth name Yang Maodong), who graduated from the Philosophy Department of Shanghai Huadong Normal University, is a writer and legal advisor. He participated in the Guangdong Taishi villagers’ rights defense activities in 2005 and the efforts to rescue rights defense lawyer. Many times he was detained and beat up by the police and several times he went on hunger strike to protest, the longest one lasting for over 50 days. Guo Feixiong with 13 other legal advisors together were elected as the “man of the year” by the Hong Kong-based Asia Weekly for their human rights defense activities.
Guo Feixiong was detained in September, 2006 and his case was “rejected” twice due to insufficient evidence. Guo Feixiong told his lawyer at the detention center that when he was secretly escorted to Shenyang, he was forced under extreme torture to confess, including electric shock to his genitals. Due to unbearable insult and torture, he attempted suicide by throwing himself at glass, but did not succeed.
In November 2007, Guo Feixiong was sentenced to 5-years imprisonment and a 40,000 yuan fine on the charge of “running an illegal business” because he published Shenyang Political Earthquake five years ago, a journal that exposed the government corruption in Shenyang city.
Guo Feixiong pointed out in his defense at the court that the charge was based solely on ten people’s verbal accounts without any written or physical evidence, and was legally ungrounded. The conviction was a result of typical political retaliation. During the 175 interrogations he went through, 95% of the time was spent on Taishi Village’s dismissal of official, human rights defense, hunger strike relay, etc. Various torture methods used in Medieval Times were applied to him to extract a confession, which was not acceptable.
In prison, Guo Feixiong was detained separately as a “criminal of extremely severe cases of the Public Security Bureau”, suffered severe beatings many times and almost lost his life. Once he went on hunger strike for 75 days. In September 2011, he was released after serving out the five-year prison term.
Family suffered because of him and fled China
Because of Guo Feixiong’s involvement in rights defense activities and conviction, his family also suffered. Firstly, his wife Zhang Qing lost her job. Then his son was barred from attending elementary school by the authorities for a year. Later his daughter’s attendance of junior high school was controlled. His family’s bank account was frozen and the court withdrew their savings by force. Every month, only about 10 yuan was left on each bankbook. At the beginning of 2009, Guo Feixiong’s wife Zhang Qing fled China with their son and daughter and arrived in the US in April. They were officially granted political asylum by the U.S. government in November, 2009.
(Modified on 2012/9/20) (boxun.com)
(First released by Boxun. Provide the source when forwarding. Modified on 2012/9/20, boxun.com)
China Aid Contacts
Rachel Ritchie, English Media Director
Cell: (432) 553-1080 | Office: 1+ (888) 889-7757 | Other: (432) 689-6985
Email: [email protected]