Guo Quan

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Guo Quan
Born (1968-05-08) 8 May 1968 (age 46)
China People's Republic of China
Criminal charge
subversion of state power
Criminal penalty
10 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[edit]

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.

Guo Quan, an expert on classical Chinese literature and the 1937 Nanjing massacre of Chinese civilians by Japanese troops, last week issued an open letter pledging to bring a lawsuit against Google after he discovered that his name had been excised in searches of its google.cn portal in China.

He told 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 1 January 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!”

  • On 28 Feb 2008 Elinor Mills of Businessweek reported that several plaintiffs filed suit in Oakland, California federal court against Internet portal Yahoo, alleges 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[edit]

  • 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[edit]

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 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]

Writer and former professor of literature at Nanjing Normal University, detained November 13, 2008 on “suspicion of subverting state authority.” The reason for his arrest is not yet known, but is believed to be related to his writings. He had been detained for ten days in May 2008 following seven articles he published on mainland Chinese web sites that criticize the government’s emergency response to the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the safety of certain infrastructures.[5]

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[edit]

References[edit]

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