Nanjing Political Activist Guo Quan Detained on Suspicion of “Inciting Subversion”

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, November 14, 2008) – Guo Quan (郭泉), a political activist and an Associate Professor at Nanjing Normal University, has been detained by police on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.

Guo was taken into custody by police from Najing City Public Security Bureau (PSB) yesterday morning. The police searched Quo’s home and confiscated a number of articles. The police then told Guo’s wife that her husband had been criminally detained for “inciting subversion of state power”. Guo’s mother also received a formal detention order.

The reasons for Guo’s detention are currently unclear. It is suspected that Guo might have been detained for organizing China Xinmin Party (中国新民党), a new party he established in December 2007, and for publishing online articles that criticizes the Nanjing government particularly for its construction of a paraxylene (PX) plant in the city. In June 2007, a plan to construct a similar PX plant in Xiamen City, Fujian Province met vehement opposition from the local population.

Background

Guo is an Associate Professor at Nanjing Normal University but he has been barred from teaching due to his activism. In December 2007, Guo set up China Xinmin Party and has acted as its spokesperson. Guo is also a vocal internet writer. He is the author of a series of online articles entitled “the Voice of Democracy”. Between May 17 and 28, Guo was subjected to “detention for violation of public order” (zhian juliu), a form of administrative punishment, by the Nanjing police. Guo was reportedly detained for discussing with other members of China Xinmin Party its response to the May 12 Sichuan Earthquake.

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