At FORUM-ASIA, we employ a range of strategies to effectively achieve our goals and create a lasting impact.

Through a diverse array of approaches, FORUM-ASIA is dedicated to achieving our objectives and leaving a lasting imprint on human rights advocacy.

Who we work with

Our interventions are meticulously crafted and ready to enact tangible change, addressing pressing issues and empowering communities.

Each statements, letters, and publications are meticulously tailored, poised to transform challenges into opportunities, and to empower communities towards sustainable progress.

Multimedia Stories

With a firm commitment to turning ideas into action, FORUM-ASIA strives to create lasting change that leaves a positive legacy for future generations.

Explore our dedicated sub-sites to witness firsthand how FORUM-ASIA turns ideas into action, striving to create a legacy of lasting positive change for future generations.

Subscribe our monthly e-newsletter

Chinese Human Rights Defenders Mistreated and Tortured in Prison

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Reports have surfaced that two Chinese human rights defenders, Mr. Chen Guangcheng and Mr. Yang Maodong, were allegedly tortured in prison. Another who is seriously ill, Mr. Zhang Jianhong, has been denied medical parole.
In the past two weeks, reports have surfaced that two Chinese human rights defenders were allegedly tortured in prison, while another who is seriously ill was denied medical parole. Mr. Chen Guangcheng and Mr. Yang Maodong were allegedly tortured while in the custody of authorities in Linyi City Prison and both Guangzhou and Shenyang detention facilities, respectively.  Mr. Zhang Jianhong, on the other hand, was denied parole despite proof of being seriously ill.

On 16 June 2007, Mr. Chen Guangcheng, a blind human rights defender and self-taught lawyer, was severely beaten by fellow inmates at the Linyi City Prison allegedly on orders from prison authorities. Mr. Chen Guangcheng’s wife learned of his mistreatment at the hands of fellow prisoners after she visited him on 19 June. He recounted to her that on 16 June, he refused to have his head shaved (a prison requirement) to protest his detention. His refusal, coupled with his continued “disobedience” for insisting on filing an appeal to the provincial higher court, prompted prison authorities to order his beating. His family requested that he be given medical attention, but were denied by Chinese authorities.

Mr. Chen Guangcheng earned the ire of the Chinese government after he provided legal assistance to villagers who accused local officials from Linyi City of forcing women to have abortions to meet birth quotas. He was sentenced to four years and three months in prison ostensibly for “damaging public property and gathering people to block traffic.”

In Guangdong province, meanwhile, Ms. Zhang Qing issued an appeal to Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, on 4 June 2007. The appeal she sent was on behalf of her imprisoned husband, lawyer, writer and civil rights activist Mr. Yang Maodong (a.k.a. Guo Feixiong).

In her appeal, Ms. Zhang Qing detailed the torture tactics used by authorities to extract a confession from Mr. Yang Maodong. At the Guangzhou City pre-trial detention facility where he was first detained, he was deprived of sleep and shackled to a bed for an extensive period of time. Between January and March 2007, Mr. Yang Maodong was moved to a detention facility in Shenyang City where they tried to extract a confession from him by hanging him at a 180-degre angle, strapping him onto a “tiger bench” and beating his face and genitalia with electric rods, among other things. 

Mr. Yang Maodong has been in police custody since 14 September 2006. He was officially arrested on 30 September 2006 on charges of suspected “illegal business activities.” He is well known for his legal assistance to villagers in Taishi, Guangdong Province in 2005, as they sought to remove the Village Party Committee head from office.

Meanwhile, Chinese authorities continue to ignore Mr. Zhang Jianhong’s (a.k.a. Li Hong) application for a medical parole. Mr. Zhang Jianhong, a prolific writer and activist, was convicted of “subversion” and “defaming the Chinese government” after posting a series of articles between May and September 2006 online. He was arrested on 6 September 2006 and the Court of Appeal upheld his six-year prison term on 27 May 2007.

Mr. Zhang Jianhong is reportedly suffering from muscle necrosis, a condition that is deteriorating due to the lack of medical treatment in jail. On 31 May 2007, he applied for medical parole upon the advice of his doctor. However, until now, he has not received a response from Chinese authorities.