Yang Maodong, who goes by the pen-name Guo Feixiong, was formally arrested on Wednesday last week by the Guangzhou Public Security Bureau, two days after the death of his wife, Zhang Qing. An arrest document stated he was arrested “on suspicion of inciting subversion of state power”, and was being held at the Guangzhou No 1 detention centre. Yang’s arrest was first reported by the online Rights Protection Network group.
Yang is a prominent human rights activist and legal consultant known for working with Taishi villagers protesting against corruption in 2005, after which he was jailed. He has been harassed, reportedly beaten, and in and out of detention for years, including a total of 11 years in prison, where Human Rights Watch said he was subjected to torture, including electric shocks.