Chinese activist enters second week of hunger strike in prison for better medical treatment

By Lobsang Tenchoe

DHARAMSALA, May 23 : A Chinese democracy activist imprisoned in 2015 after Communist Party’s crackdown on dissent has entered second week of hunger strike in prison.

Guo Feixiong, a 49 years old Chinese democracy activist serving six years of imprisonment since November 2015 has entered the second week of hunger strike inside his prison, according to his sister.

The activist whose real name is Yang Maodong took part in a protest against censorship outside the newsroom of a liberal newspaper in southern China. The activist’s supporters and relatives hold the officials of Guangdong’s Yangchun prison, where he was being held captive, responsible for the activist’s drastic deteriorating health in the last few months due to denial of adequate medical treatment.

Guo began his hunger strike on May 9 to demand better treatment as well as political changes in China.

“He is still refusing to eat and it makes my heart ache. His physical health is deteriorating,” the Guardian reported Guo’s sister, Yang Maoping as saying on Monday morning.

“Guo Feixiong’s indefinite hunger strike in prison is in response to the deliberately degrading way he has been treated by the authorities,” the activist’s wife, Zhaang Qing, wrote in an open letter to President Xi Jinping.

“The brazenly unlawful behaviour of the domestic security and prison authorities in Guangdong makes a mockery of the Chinese authorities’ claim to ‘govern the country according to the law,” Zhang added.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch’s China director, Sophie Richardson, said China’s “cruel and inhuman treatment” of prisoners had become a worrying trend. In 2014 human rights activist Cao Shunli died after allegedly being denied medical treatment by authorities.

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