Activist Yang Maodong has ended his hunger strike after 101 days, and may have been transferred to another prison.

Yang, who is better known by his pen name Guo Feixiong, has been in detention since August 2013. He began the hunger strike in May to protest his mistreatment at Yangchun prison. According to NGO Amnesty International, he was subjected to a humiliating colonoscopy against his will, in addition to verbal insults and other forms of maltreatment from prison guards.

yang maodong guo feixiong
Yang Maodong. File photo:

Yang is known for organising rights defense campaigns in China. He was taken into custody in 2013 for protesting against the censorship of Guangzhou publication Southern Weekly. 

His brother Yang Maoquan saw him in Yingde Prison in Guangdong on Monday, Yang’s brother and sister said. Yang may have been transferred to Yingde from Yangchun prison, another facility in Guangdong. His lawyers requested his transfer from Yangchun prison after his hunger strike began.

Yang’s wife, who is based in the US, said his brother told her that Yang is bleeding from three places: his mouth, lumbar spine and stomach. The first two are not serious, but the latter requires half a year of convalescence, according to a statement Yang made from prison, which was passed by his brother from memory.

guo feixiong cartoon
“Guo Feixiong: hunger striking for survival.” Photo: Twitter/Aiwu8964.

According to Yang’s family, he was being force fed in prison since mid-May. Yangchun prison authorities used a feeding tube to feed him a liquid supplement, a method that can cause bleeding and tissue damage.

In the statement transmitted by his brother, Yang thanks his friends who have spoken out for him, referring to activists who have been holding relay hunger strikes in support of Yang.

Activists Guo Feixiong
Activists supporting Guo Feixiong. Photo: Twitter/Aiwu8964.

The Guangdong prison authorities issued a statement on their website on Friday reporting on Yang Maodong’s health condition. “The latest test results show that all his vital signs are normal, he can move freely, converse with clarity, and completely take care of himself – days ago, he resumed normal eating and drinking.”

The prison authorities will, as always, do a good job in its “educational management” of Yang Maodong and protect his legal rights while he is serving his sentence, the statement said.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.