Dissident writer and activist Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄) — also known as Yang Maodong (杨茂东) — has been detained in Guangzhou on charges of “disrupting public order.” Guo’s family was notified of his detention — the latest in a string of actions against prominent rights advocates in China — on August 17, but a notice from the police shows that he was in fact detained on August 8.

Guo Feixiong has worked as a rights activist since 2003 and has been involved in a number of cases drawing national attention, including the Taishi Village incident in 2005 and more recently the Southern Weekly incident. Convicted in 2007 in connection with his book on political scandal in Liaoning province, A Political Earthquake in Shenyang, Guo has spent more than five of the last ten years in prison.

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A notice received by Guo Feixiong’s family on August 17 informs them that he was detained on August 8 on charges of “disrupting public order.”

Yesterday, Guo Feixiong’s wife, Zhang Qing (张青) released an open letter addressed to Chinese President Xi Jinping. She called for Guo’s immediate release without charge and detailed the abuses Guo and his family have suffered as a result of his activism over the past decade.

Open Letter From Guo Feixiong’s Wife Zhang Qing to Xi Jinping

*Demanding that the Chinese government release Guo Feixiong immediately and without charge.

*At the same time, calling urgently on the international community: please pay attention to Guo Feixiong. Your attention will be of immense help to China’s peaceful transformation and particularly to the matter of human rights in China! As Guo Feixiong’s wife, in the capacity of the wife of a sufferer, I offer you my thanks!.

Mr. Xi Jinping:

I am the wife of Guo Feixiong (Yang Maodong): Zhang Qing. When I learned yesterday that Guo Feixiong has again been detained on the unwarranted charge of “disturbing the public order” (扰乱公共秩序) I was shocked and angry. First of all, I must express my sense of outrage as a Chinese citizen, both towards you and towards the Chinese government under your leadership.

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This is the fourth time that Guo Feixiong has been locked up by the Chinese government. On this sleepless night, I am flooded with painful memories. But I must pick myself up, and I must raise my pen to write this open letter. I want to let you know, to let the world know, what hardships and cruelties Guo Feixiong — this Chinese prisoner of conscience — has suffered over the past ten years, and what pain and sadness we, his wife and his children, have endured as a result of his persecution.

Since his involvement with rights defense work began in 2003, Guo Feixiong has been illegally detained on four separate occasions. Illegal beatings and brutal torture have for him become common fare. This includes:

1. Interrogated to exhaustion for 13 days and nights in Guangzhou Number One Prison, where he was not permitted to sleep.
2. Placed in leg-irons for more than 100 days in Guangzhou Number One Prison.
3. Kept on a wooden bed in leg-irons and handcuffs for 42 days in Guangzhou Number One Prison.
4. Having his head shaved and being subjected to constant ridicule for more than 20 days in Guangzhou Number One Prison.
5. After being transferred to Shenyang, he was forced by case investigators to wear a black bag over his head, like that worn by death-row inmates, then was taken to a secret location and violently beaten.
6. When taken by Shenyang investigators to the secret location, he was forced to sit on a “tiger bench” for four hours. [NOTE: this is a kind of torture device, seen here].
7. When taken by Shenyang investigators to the secret location, he was cruelly strung up with his hands behind his back by police, forcing him to bear the full weight of his body with his shoulders.
8. When taken by Shenyang investigators to the secret location, he was subjected by police to the use of a taser on his genitals. Furious at the humiliation, Guo Feixiong attempted suicide by rushing at the glass window, but was unsuccessful.
9. Shenyang police locked Guo Feixiong up together with death-row inmates, and these condemned criminals threatened to carve out his eyes. Guo Feixiong had no choice but to use all his strength to break the glass window to resist them.

In the midst of Guo Feixiong’s persecution, I lost my job because of the interference of the police, and I was constantly shadowed. Police even followed my child. I remember one time when my nine year-old daughter was followed too closely. She was frightened and quickly moved ahead of them, but the police still pursued her, moving even closer. When she got home she said: “If only I could do magic, I would make them vanish!”

The persecution of our family later escalated to the point they would no longer allow my two children to attend school: The police threatened Guo Feixiong: “We won’t let your son go to primary school. We won’t let your daughter continue on to middle school.” And they did exactly as they said. My children had to be out of school for a year. When my daughter matriculated, all of her classmates had middle schools to go to, but my daughter didn’t. I remember that every day I was worried about my daughter moving up into middle school — I wrote open letters, and went out constantly to look into schools. Every time I came him, my daughter would open the door for me. Timidly, she would ask: “Have you found a school?” “No,” I would say, a lump in my throat. They don’t just use prison, inflicting torture on adults — they make things impossible for children, thinking nothing of destroying a child’s future. This sort of cruelty visited on associated [innocents] must be a rare thing whether in ancient times or in the present day, don’t you think? For me, this has been the greatest pressure, and this is the main reason we moved to the United States [in 2009] with the help of friends.

We sincerely hope these nightmares will end soon. We sincerely hope that human rights and rule of law can enjoy to most basic respect in China. And so, Mr. Xi Jinping, when you said early on in your leadership that we must fully implement the Constitution, when you swore that there would be fairness and justice in every case, even though we had already for so long felt a sense despair, we still held those words in our own hearts. How could we not feel hope, even if those promises were left just one percent fulfilled? That would be a welcome rain in the midst of crippling drought.

But then, suddenly, the crackdown comes again, and we are thrown right back down into despair. On August 17, my daughter learned before I did that Guo Feixiong had been secretly detained in Guangzhou on August 8. She said to me: “The instant I saw the news, a feeling of cold spread through my whole body, and my head felt dizzy. I could hardly get hold of myself. I wanted to cry. To shout: ‘Taken again? But he’s been out no more than a few days!'” Mr. Xi Jinping, you too have a daughter. Tell me, in a situation like this, how should I console my daughter?

I am proud of my husband. He is a tolerant, humane, responsible and compassionate man, an idealist, someone who struggles tirelessly. Our whole family respects and loves him. In 2008, when he was still in Meizhou Prison (梅州监狱), my daughter wrote him a letter, and she drew a caricature of him. She wrote on the picture: “I am a hero.” Her father was great, she said. He had suffered so much for his beliefs, and through it all he had kept his piece of mind. I truly admire him. He would never commit a crime, and it’s not possible that he’s a criminal. On the contrary, it’s those who have gone out of their way to brand innocent citizens as criminals who are the true criminals.

Mr. Xi Jinping, this open letter I’m writing today is the ninth open letter I’ve written to the senior leaders of our country. All of the letters before were just stones dropped into the sea. Will this letter be any different? I don’t dare hope. But regardless of the result, I will not give up striving. In want to use this letter to let the whole world know my inner feelings, to pray for the peace of my husband.

As Guo Feixiong’s wife, I demand that the Chinese government immediately release Guo Feixiong without charge.

At the same time, I call urgently on the international community: please pay attention to Guo Feixiong. Your attention will be of immense help to China’s peaceful transformation and particularly to the matter of human rights in China! As Guo Feixiong’s wife, in the capacity of the wife of a sufferer, I offer you my thanks!

I wish you peace!

Guo Feixiong’s (Yang Maodong’s) wife, Chinese citizen: Zhang Qing (张青)

August 19, 2013

郭飞雄妻子张青致习近平公开信

要求中国政府立即无罪释放郭飞雄。

同时向国际社会紧急呼吁:请关注郭飞雄。您们的关注对中国的和平转型尤其对中国的人权事业会有很大帮助!我以郭飞雄妻子的身份,即一个受难者的妻子的身份,感谢您们!

习近平先生:

我是郭飞雄(本名杨茂东)的妻子:张青。昨天获知郭飞雄又一次被以莫须有的“扰乱公共秩序”的罪名刑拘,我非常震惊和愤怒。首先必须向你本人以及你领导下的中国政府表达我作为一个中国公民的强烈抗议!

这是郭飞雄第四次被中国政府关进监狱。在这个不眠之夜,痛苦的回忆要把我淹没。我必须挣扎,必须提起笔写这封公开信。我要告诉你、告诉全世界,过去十年,中国良心犯郭飞雄曾经遭受怎样残酷的折磨;作为他的妻子及他的儿女,受到了怎样的牵连和迫害,经历了怎样的痛苦和悲伤。

自2003年投入维权运动以来,郭飞雄四次被非法拘捕。非法殴打和酷刑,于他更是家常便饭。包括:
1、在广州市第一看守所,被疲劳审讯13个日夜,不许他睡觉。
2、在广州市第一看守所,被戴上脚镣100多天。
3、在广州市第一看守所,被手脚穿插固定铐在木板床上42天,全身不能弯曲。
4、在广州市第一看守所,被警察拔头发、搔痒侮辱达20多天。
5、在被转押沈阳后,被办案人员戴上死刑犯的黑头套,押到秘密关押地点进行暴打。
6、在沈阳警方办案人带到秘密关押地点,坐老虎凳4小时。
7、在沈阳秘密关押地点,被办案警察凶残地反吊双手悬空,靠双手肩关节支撑全身重量。
8、在沈阳秘密关押地点,被办案警察用高压电警棍电击生殖器。郭飞雄不堪其辱,愤而冲向玻璃窗自杀未遂。
9、沈阳警方把郭飞雄与死刑犯关押在一起,绝望的死刑犯威胁要挖他的眼睛。郭飞雄不得已奋力砸破窗户玻璃与之抗争。

在郭飞雄受到迫害的同时,我也因为警方的干预失去了工作,而且被跟踪。警方甚至跟踪我的孩子。还记得9岁的女儿被跟的太近,感到恐惧,想快快走开拉远距离,可是警察反而跟的更紧。她回家后给我说:“我要是会变魔术把他们都变没有就好了!

对我们一家的迫害,后来更升级到不让我的两个孩子上学。警方曾威胁郭飞雄:“我们不会让你的儿子上小学的。我们不会让你的女儿升初中的。”他们的确说到做到。儿子失学一年。在女儿升学时,同班同学都有初中上,我女儿没有。记得那段时间,我每天焦虑地为我女儿升学的事写公开信,出门为她找学校。每次回家,女儿给我开门,都用怯怯的声音问我:“找到学校了吗?” 我总是难以启齿地说:“没有”。不仅用监狱、用酷刑折磨大人,更折磨孩子、更不惜毁掉孩子的前程,这样残忍的连坐,古往今来应该都属罕见吧。这对我来说是最大压力,也是我们在朋友帮助下辗转来到美国的最重要的原因。

我们多么的希望所有这些噩梦尽早结束,多么希望人权和法治在中国受到起码的尊重。所以,习近平先生,当你上任之初宣誓要全面实施宪法,宣誓要在每一个案件中体现公平正义,虽然我们早已经绝望,但那些话确实说到我们心坎上,我们又不免泛起一丝丝希翼,哪怕那些宣誓只兑现百分之一呢?对良心犯和良心犯家属也是大旱中的甘霖啊。

但是,打击猝然来临,我们又一次陷于绝望之中。8月17日,女儿先我获知郭飞雄早在8月8号被广州国保密捕,她告诉我:“看到这消息的瞬间,就感觉有一种从体内散发出来的发凉发麻的感觉,大脑晕眩。好不容易回过神来,想哭,想喊:又被抓了?他才出来几天?”习近平先生,你也有女儿,你告诉我,在那样的场合,我该怎样面对、怎样宽慰我的女儿?

我为我的丈夫而骄傲。他是一个宽容、良善、有责任感、有悲悯心的人,一个理想主义者,一个不懈的奋斗者。我们全家人都尊敬他,爱他。2008年他还在梅州监狱时,女儿给他写信,画了一张他的卡通像,在那张画上她写道:“我是英雄”。她说爸爸了不起,为坚持信念吃了那么多的苦,而且一直保守他的心灵平和。我很佩服他。他不可能犯罪,不可能是罪犯。恰恰是那些把无辜公民当罪犯投入大牢的人,才是真正的罪犯。

习近平先生,今天写这封公开信,是我给国家最高领导人的第九封公开信。以前的信统统石沉大海,这封信的命运会怎么样?我不敢想。但不管结果如何,我都不能放弃努力。我要通过这封信告语天下,向天下人诉说我的衷曲,向上苍祈求我的丈夫平安。

在此,我谨以郭飞雄妻子的身份,严正要求中国政府立即无罪释放郭飞雄。

我同时向国际社会紧急呼吁:请关注郭飞雄。您们的关注对中国的和平转型尤其对中国的人权事业会有很大帮助!我以郭飞雄妻子的身份,即一个受难者的妻子的身份,感谢您们!

顺祝
平安!

郭飞雄(杨茂东)太太、中国公民:张青

2013年8月19日