China: Yang Maodong sentenced to 5 years in prison

English PEN protests the five-year prison sentence handed down to Yang Maodong (aka Guo Feixiong), a well-known Chinese writer, independent publisher and civil rights activist.

Yang Maodong was sentenced by the Tianhe District Court in the southern city of Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, on 14 November 2007, for his critical writings. His trial opened on 9 July 2007 and the case was adjourned twice by the district prosecutor due to lack of evidence. He was eventually found guilty of ‘illegal business activity’. The prosecution is believed to relate, however, to a publication entitled Shenyang Political Earthquake, which exposed Chinese Government corruption in Shenyang, Liaoning Province.

Yang Maodong has been detained since 14 September 2006 and he is currently held at Guangzhou City No.3 Detention Centre. There are reports that he has been repeatedly tortured in detention and PEN seeks immediate reassurances of Yang Maodong’s well-being.

For further information on Yang Maodong and his allegations of torture please click here

***UPDATE: Yang Maodong began a hunger strike on 13 December 2007 to protest deprivation of his basic rights. He was allegedly beaten by a fellow prisoner at Maizhou Prison on 18 December and his health is deteriorating. As of 18 December 2007, he has been on hunger strike.***

Please send appeals:


• Protesting the five-year prison sentence handed to Yang Maodong;

• Seeking assurances from the Chinese authorities that Yang Maodong is humanely treated while in detention;

• Calling for his immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.

Appeals to:


His Excellency Hu Jintao
President of the People’s Republic of China
State Council
Beijing 100032
Procurator General Mr. Jia Chunwang
Supreme People’s Procuratorate
Beiheyan Street 147
100726 Beijing
Please note that fax numbers are no longer available for the Chinese authorities, so it may be more effective to forward appeals via the Chinese representative in London:
Her Excellency Mrs. Fu Ying
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
49-51 Portland Place
London W1B 4JL

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