02/08/2006, 00.00
CHINA
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Human rights activist disappears

Guo Feixiong, who has been working on behalf of Taishi village residents, was picked up, interrogated and beaten by the police. He has disappeared since his release.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – The well-known human rights activist Guo Feixiong has disappeared after being arrested by the police, this according to The Epoch Times, which spoke by phone with Mr Guo's attorney and friend Gao Zhisheng, who is now very concerned about the activist's fate. Mr Gao said that Guo was taken into custody last Friday night by the police, interrogated for ten hours, and beaten, No one has seen him after he was released.

The activist is well-known for his involvement on behalf of the residents of Taishi, in Guangdong, where people have been fighting a corrupt village head and trying to get back some control over their local affairs.

Guo had previously been harassed and mistreated by the police and "unknown" assailants for his involvement, including 24 hour surveillance.

Gao Zhisheng along with pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, Japan and the West yesterday started a hunger strike in support of Guo Feixiong.

"There is no need to say one more word," Mr Gao said in an open letter laying out the reasons for his action. "When the law becomes useless, we must resort to more basic forms of protest. Going on a hunger strike expresses our anguish towards the inhuman and barbarous, violent deeds of the Communist regime."

In concluding his letter, he wrote: "It is my greatest wish and hope that others will join the protest, which expresses our support for those were, are and will be persecuted."

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