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ICC NOTE: Chinese human rights activist received a sentence of six years by the Communist Party led judicial system for ‘gathering a crowd to disrupt public order’ and ‘picking quarrels and stirring up trouble’. Very similar to what many Christians in Zhejiang province have been charged with as the communist regime continues to crack down hard on any opposition against the party. Yang Maodong merely held placards with other individuals calling for ratification of an international human rights covenant by the government. Mr. Maodong had already spent time in prison in 2006 for similar crimes yet this one seems to be far more severe as the sentence length is extreme, not to mention his conditions where he is denied access to exercise from his dark solitary confinement.  

11/30/2015 China (Radio Free Asia) – Authorities in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Friday handed a six-year jail term to a prominent human rights activist and shorter sentences to two others, his lawyer said.

Yang Maodong, better known by his pseudonym Guo Feixiong, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order” and “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble” at a hearing in the provincial capital Guangzhou along with two co-defendants on Friday.Fellow activists Liu Yuandong and Sun Desheng were also jailed by Guangzhou’s Tianhe District People’s Court for three and two-and-a-half years respectively.The verdict comes a year after Guo and Sun stood trial at Guangzhou’s on Nov. 28, 2014, and amid allegations of torture and degrading treatment from both men.Guo’s defense lawyer Zhang Lei told RFA that the prosecution had added the second charge against his client during the sentencing hearing, on the grounds that he had held up a placards calling on Beijing to ratify an international human rights covenant.

“We asked to make our defense, to make our argument, but they wouldn’t allow it,” Zhang said. “They wouldn’t let us say anything at all, and cut me off pretty sharply.”

“Ten minutes later, the hearing began, and they read out the verdict and sentence, then handed it to us.”

Zhang said the defense wasn’t informed of the additional charge against Guo beforehand.

“We had no idea about this … now he will serve a total of six years for both crimes,” he said.

“This is an extremely unjust decision, especially the way in which the court trampled due process by adding a charge today,” he said. “It is totally unacceptable.”

Zhang said Guo had shouted out in protest at his treatment while in police custody, where he has been held in solitary confinement in a dark cell and denied permission to exercise outdoors since August 2013, a situation his wife has said is a form of torture.

“He said the court guards put a black hood over his head and that the police deliberately made the manacles too tight, causing him heavy injuries to his hands,” Zhang said.

“He demanded a medical examination of his injuries, but the judge paid no attention, just cut him off very rudely and read out the judgment.”

“They didn’t give him any opportunity to say anything; they just dragged him away,” Zhang said.

Fellow rights activist Jia Pin said he hadn’t been surprised by Guo’s sentence, but expressed strong concern for his friend.

“Actually, I didn’t think they give him as much as six years, because he already served jail time back in 2006,” Jia said.