Human Rights in China (HRIC) has learned that Guo Sujing, the wife of imprisoned
labor activist Yao Fuxin, has appealed to the National People's Congress
(NPC) and the Supreme People's Court to reexamine her request for Yao's medical
parole. Another petition signed by more than 900 workers has also been submitted
in support of Yao's release.
The Fifth Session of the Tenth NPC opened on
March 5, while the Fifth Session of the Tenth National Committee of the Chinese
People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) began on March 3. Because of
strict security procedures in place for the dual sessions, Guo Sujing was unable
to approach the Great Hall of the People to submit her petition directly to the
NPC. However, on March 7 she mailed her petition to the NPC's Letters and
Petitions Office and to the Supreme People's Court.
Yao Fuxin was
sentenced to seven years in prison on May 9, 2003, for his participation in
demonstrations by tens of thousands of workers in March 2002 protesting alleged
corruption and other abuses in the management of the bankrupt Liaoyang
Ferro-Alloy Factory. Yao has suffered from a host of ailments in prison,
including a heart condition that required 20 days of hospitalization in 2005.
Guo Sujing has requested medical parole for her husband on many previous
occasions, but has been refused. Legal appeals by Yao's lawyer, Mo Shaoping,
have also failed. Last year around this time, Gao Sujing and her daughter Yao
Dan petitioned the NPC and CPPCC to intervene on behalf of their request for
medical parole for Yao, but received no reply. In the meantime, Yao's family
members say that he is kept under 24-hour surveillance in prison, that other
prisoners are forbidden from talking to him, and that he is deprived of mail and
telephone privileges. Attempts by Yao's lawyer to negotiate improvements in
Yao's treatment in prison have been unsuccessful.
In her petition letter,
Guo Sujing provides background to Yao's case, and his failing health in a prison
system in which he has been transferred eight times and subjected to physical
abuse. Guo concludes, "I have related these circumstances many times to the
Liaoyang municipal government, to the Political and Law office and to the prison
authorities, and Ferro-Alloy workers have jointly signed an application to serve
as guarantors for Yao's medical parole, but prison officials have consistently
maintained that 'Yao Fuxin's case is special, and he cannot be released on
medical parole.' Yao Fuxin's health continues to go from bad to worse, and I
hope that the government can take consideration of Yao Fuxin's health, and on
humanitarian grounds authorize his release on medical parole." A petition signed
by 900 Ferro-Alloy workers supporting Yao's medical parole is attached to the
Chinese version of this press release.
HRIC urges the NPC and the Supreme
People's Court to exercise their respective authority to have Yao released from
prison on medical parole in accordance with China's Prison Law. In addition,
HRIC deplores the isolation imposed on Yao in prison, in particular the
deprivation of his rights to communicate with his family. HRIC urges the Chinese
authorities to address these shortcomings in Yao's treatment in the spirit of
the government's promotion of a Harmonious Society, and in accordance with its
human rights undertakings in relation to Beijing's hosting of the 2008 Olympics.