January 30, 2021
Chinese dissident Guo Feixiong (郭飞雄), while trying to travel to the United States to take care of his wife Zhang Qing following her cancer surgery, was intercepted by Chinese authorities at Shanghai Pudong Airport on January 28, and denied exit on the pretext of “endangering national security.” Guo Feixiong is a free Chinese citizen, and the CCP has no reason to prevent him from going abroad to visit his family, whether from the perspective of law, human rights, or humanitarian principle. This inhumane act by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is yet another proof of the regime’s increasingly fascist stance.
Guo Feixiong has announced the beginning of an indefinite hunger strike upon the exit ban. We call upon the outside world to follow this development and on Western countries to use diplomatic means to assist Guo Feixiong in his wish to visit his wife and take care of her in the United States. On January 27, Guo Feixiong sent an open letter to Chinese leaders Xi Jinping, Li Keqiang, and Li Zhanshu about his anxiety over the critical condition of his wife:
“My wife, Zhang Qing, moved to the United States in 2009 and now lives in Maryland. On January 9 of this year, she underwent major surgery for colon cancer with liver metastasis, and following the surgery, immediately began to undergo chemotherapy for 24 weeks. She is in extremely risky and life-threatening conditions. I must go to the U.S. immediately and do my best to care for her and help her through the most difficult time in her life. Our decade long separation has now reached a heartbreaking point, and every day of delay is mental torture for me.”
Guo Feixiong (real name Yang Maodong 杨茂东), is one of the pioneers of China’s rights defense movement. He was arrested in 2006 for his involvement in the campaign to dismiss corrupt village officials in Guangdong’s Taishi village, sentenced to five years in 2007, and released from prison on September 12, 2011. In 2009, Guo’s wife fled China with their two young children to escape persecution by the CCP. In August 2013, Guo was arrested again and sentenced to six years in prison for organizing citizen groups in solidarity with the Southern Weekend and launching campaigns in several cities to demand that China ratifies the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He was released in 2019. In 2016, Guo went on a hunger strike for more than 100 days in protest of the torture and abuse he suffered in prison. He is the recipient of the 2015 Frontline Defenders Award from Frontline Defenders Ireland.
We ask for assistance from the international community!
(China Change Note: Guo Feixiong has been out of contact shortly after he started hunger strike on Thursday at the Pudong Airport in Shanghai. He’s likely to have been taken into custody by the Chinese authorities.)
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