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Guo Quan

Guo Quan
Born (1968-05-08) 8 May 1968 (age 50)
Criminal chargesubversion of state power
Criminal penalty10 years in prison
Spouse(s)Li Jing

Guo Quan (Chinese: 郭泉; pinyin: Guō Quán; born 1968) is a Chinese human rights activist. He founded the China New Democracy Party. He is a State Owned Enterprise cadre, secretary of the Nanjing Economic Restructuring Commission and Nanjing People's Court cadre.

In 1996 he earned a master's degree from Nanjing University's Sociology Department. In 1999 he received a PhD in philosophy from Nanjing University. From 1999–2001 he was a post-doctorate researcher at Nanjing Normal University.

In 2001 he was retained as a professor and PhD candidate advisor at Nanjing Normal University. He is also a researcher in the Nanjing Massacre Research Center.

Legal actions against Yahoo and Google

In early 2008, Guo Quan, a university professor who had been dismissed after having founded a democratic opposition party, announced plans to sue Yahoo! (Chief Executive Jerry Yang) and Google in the United States for having blocked his name from search results in China.

  • On 28 Feb 2008 Elinor Mills of Businessweek reported that several plaintiffs filed suit in Oakland, California federal court against Internet portal Yahoo, alleging that Yahoo provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to the 2003 arrest of Li Zhi, who has served about half of an eight-year sentence.

Both Plaintiff Zheng Cunzhu (Ch:郑存柱) and plaintiff Guo Quan alleged that Yahoo's business tactic had caused them personal and financial harm. Zheng Cunzhu claimed :"(he) lost his property in China when he did not return for fear of getting arrested for his pro-democracy activities" and Guo Quan claimed that "he lost business when his name and that of his garment company were blocked by the Yahoo search results."

List of claims against Yahoo:

  • violation of international law including torture and prolonged detention
  • unfair business practices
  • intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • false imprisonment and assault.

in November(2007) Yahoo settled an out of court lawsuit filed by family members of two other dissidents serving 10-year sentences after Yahoo handed their account information over to the Chinese government. And "last week(Jan 2008) Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang sent U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a letter asking the government to secure the release of dissidents jailed in China for their pro-democracy sentiments."[1]

Open letters to Hu Jintao

  • On 14 November 2007, Professor Guo Quan published an open letter to Chinese communist leaders Hu Jintao and Wu Bangguo, calling for a "democratic government based on multi-party elections that serves the interests of the common folks."[2]

Police harassments and arrests

Guo's very public open letters to President Hu Jintao demanding multi-party elections and the depoliticisation of the People's Liberation Army, was widely published in the internet blogosphere as well as the tradition media. Since then the Chinese cyber-police had begun to black out his blogs.

  • On 21 May 2008 Jonathan Watts of The Guardian reported: Chinese police have detained Guo Quan, a political dissident who criticized the government's handling of the Sichuan earthquake. Guo was seized outside his home by seven or eight police officers on 17 May 2008. They searched his house and confiscated his computer [3]

Guo Quan's wife Li Jing told reporter that Guo had been detained many times before, for a few days at a time. Now it could be for longer. "The police told me to prepare myself psychologically," she said.

On 6 Feb 2008 Guo Quan told Jane Macartney, of The Times "that he had now found that the Chinese Yahoo! site had also blocked his name and he planned to bring actions against both companies." Mr Guo said: "Since January 1 a lot of friends told me that websites with my name had been closed. They told me it's impossible to search for my information on Google and Yahoo!"[4]

The PEN American Center wrote:

On 13 Nov 2008 cnews reported that Guo Quan, was arrested Thursday in the city of Nanjing. According to his wife, the police's charge was "subversion of state power" Chinese police routinely uses the charge of "subversion of state power" to imprison dissidents for years.[6] On 17 Oct 2009, Reuters reported that he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.[7] He has been described as a political prisoner.[8][9]

See also


External links