UN rights experts urge China to end mistreatment of human rights defender
UN rights experts urge China to end mistreatment of human rights defender

[JURIST] A group of UN independent human rights experts expressed concern [UN news release] Thursday for the condition of Chinese human rights defender Yang Maodong, also known as Guo Feixiong, who has been detained by the Chinese government. Noting reports of degrading and humiliating treatment endured by Guo at the hands of both prison guards and other inmates, the experts called on the Chinese government to provide Guo with specialized medical care and stop all forms of mistreatment. The experts stated that, due to his status as a prominent human rights defender, Guo has been denied adequate medical treatment and forced to suffer “sleep deprivation, harassment, and [a] humiliating medical procedure filmed by prison officials for public release.” Demanding the Chinese government follow these suggestions, and also calling for the release of Guo from prison, the rights experts stated the government’s actions were “incompatible with China’s obligations under international human rights law.” In addition to China’s failure to adhere to international law, the experts recalled several previous instances of China’s failure to heed the advice of international human rights committee, including a call by the UN Committee against Torture [official website] “to refrain from prosecuting human rights, defenders, lawyers, petitioners and others for their legitimate activities.” Guo was arrested and sentenced to six-years in August 2013 for participating in a public protest after a Guangzhou newspaper was censored by the government, one in a string of arrests against prominent human rights activists during Xi Jinping’s presidency [BBC backgrounder].

Also this week Chinese human rights lawyer Zhou Shifeng was sentenced to seven years [JURIST report] in prison for his role as director of Beijing’s Fengrui Law Firm. In April a civil rights lawyer was arrested and released [JURIST report] for posting an image online mocking Xi in relation to the Panama Papers release. Chinese human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiangon announced in April that his license to practice law was revoked [JURIST report] by the judicial bureau. Chinese lawyer and professor Chen Taihe fled China [JURIST report] in March and arrived in San Leandro, California, after he was detained last July as part of a crackdown on rights lawyers. The crackdown culminated in at least 242 people detained or questioned throughout the country. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed concern [JURIST report] in February over China’s recent crackdown on lawyers and activists. In January Chinese authorities arrested [JURIST report] high profile human rights lawyer Wang Yu and her husband on charges of political subversion.