Chinese human rights lawyer Guo Feixiong was released from prison on Sept. 13. Although in poor health and weakened by the ordeal of five years imprisonment, he declared himself unchanged in his core.
Prior to his detention in September 2006, Guo (whose original and pen name are Yang Maodong) was active in the “weiquan” or rights defense movement—a loose collection of lawyers and intellectuals that sought to protect the rights of ordinary Chinese through litigation.
Guo defended poor peasants whose land had been stolen, Christians, Falun Gong practitioners, and others who have suffered under the Chinese regime. He was a close associate of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who advocated for Guo’s release before Gao himself was imprisoned. Gao’s current whereabouts are unknown.
Guo’s conviction in November 2007 for “illegal business activity” was widely regarded as simply a means to silence him.
While still a free man, Guo was beaten several times by Public Security agents, and in prison he suffered torture.
Soon after his arrival home to Guangzhou, Guo told The Epoch Times: “Right now my health is very bad and very weak, because the conditions in the prison were so different from the outside. My health situation and experiences are widely known by everyone. I think I experienced a lot more than other people.”
In prison, Guo suffered several tortures, including the notorious “tiger bench,” hanging from the ceiling with his hands tied together, and having his penis shocked with high voltage electric batons. His vision is said to have deteriorated and he has chronic pain in the area of his waist.
Nonetheless, Guo declared himself unbowed by the severe abuse.
“When a person lives for his principles, no matter what happens, he is still happy at his core,” Guo said. “My principles have never changed. In the coming months, I want to spend more time seeing, asking, and listening. I will not become radical, cowardly, or weak because of what happened to me over the past five years. I’m still the old me.”
Upon his release, Guo’s sister and brother rushed to Guangzhou to assist him. His sister was not allowed to pick him up at the prison.
His wife and children could not be present for Guo’s homecoming, as they were forced to seek asylum in the United States in April 2009. The Chinese regime had caused Guo’s wife, Zhang Qing to lose her job, didn’t allow his children to go to school, and froze their bank accounts, among other acts of harassment.
Guo was able to call Zhang upon arriving home. Guo’s sister said, “Zhang Qing and the kids were waiting for the news. The two kids just called and said they miss their dad badly.”
Guo said he wanted to rest and recuperate for a while at home. He also wished to express his thanks. “To all those who cared for me, who supported me through various means, I express my deepest gratitude.”
Read the original Chinese article.