The sister of jailed rights activist Guo Feixiong has voiced concerns over his deteriorating health following a prison visit. Supporters have urged the authorities to grant medical parole.

Yang Maodong – more commonly known by his pen name Guo Feixiong – is a 49-year-old writer and advocate for asset transparency. NGO Human Rights In China said on Tuesday that Guo’s sister Yang Maoping expressed concern over the activist’s health after visiting him at the Yangchun Prison in Guangdong.

Guo Feixiong
Guo Feixiong. Photo: Wikicommons.

In an account circulated online, Yang also said that during her visit on April 26, she repeated a request to the prison authorities asking for Guo be transferred to an upper-grade hospital to receive medical treatment.

“He was paler and thinner than when I saw him on February 29 of this year, and his complexion was ashen. Before I even spoke, [Guo] told me there is something seriously wrong with his health. He had been admitted to the prison hospital on April 7, after a year of intermittent bloody or watery stools,” Yang said.

Medical check refused

Yang said that Guo could barely stand when she saw him that day and that he was kept in a small room without windows with four other people 23 hours a day. The police turned down his requests for a medical check and the hospital also said that they did not have the officer’s approval and could not do anything.

“Today, I once again asked the head of the Prison Management Division to transfer [Guo] to an upper-grade hospital for an endoscopy, colonoscopy, lung CT scan, and blood work, so that he could get a clear diagnosis and treatment,” Yang said. However, she said that when she told prison authorities of Guo’s condition, she was told that if Guo fainted, he would be sent to the hospital right away.

guo Feixiong
Guo Feixiong.

According to Human Rights in China, Guo was detained in August 2013 for taking part in protests in eight cities around China and was formally arrested in September. He was tried by the Guangzhou Municipal Tianhe District People’s Court in November 2o14, and convicted of “picking quarrels” and gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place in November 2015. He was given a six-year prison sentence.

The NGO also said that Guo had been subjected to physical torture and maltreatment in prison, including black-hooding, strip searches, tight handcuffing, leg shackling and deprivation of exposure to fresh air, between 2014 and 2015.

Guo’s supporters have asked concerned parties to urge prison authorities to grant Guo medical parole, while Human Rights in China also urged the international community to act.

Karen cheung hong kong

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.