Guo Yushan (郭玉闪)Comments Off on Guo Yushan (郭玉闪)
Guo Yushan 郭玉闪
Crime: Illegal business activity
Length of Punishment: N/A
Trial Date: N/A
Sentencing Date: N/A
Dates of Detention/Arrest: October 9, 2014 (detained); January 3, 2015 (arrested)
Place of Incarceration: Beijing No. 1 Detention Center (Beijing Municipality)
In the early morning of October 9, 2014, Beijing police summoned Guo Yushan (郭玉闪) for questioning on suspicion of “creating a disturbance.” Later that evening, police criminally detained Guo, the founder and former director of Transition Institute, an independent research group. The next day, police took away Huang Kaiping (黄凯平), Transition Institute’s director. Authorities repeatedly denied Guo visits from his lawyers, claiming that Guo’s case involved “endangering state security.” One month into Guo’s detention, his lawyer Xia Lin (夏霖) was also detained, before Xia had a chance to meet with his client. Police later formally arrested Guo on the charge of “illegal business activity,” nearly three months after initially detaining him. All three detentions occurred during the suppression of supporters of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests and after Guo openly supported the protests. According to his wife, Guo suffers from a congenital lung disease, and he appeared unusually thin when one of his lawyer was finally able to see him in January.
A scholar and democracy activist, Guo Yushan was born in 1977 in Fujian Province, and graduated from Peking University with a masters degree in Politics and Economics. He was a commenter for China Business News and an executive editor for a financial magazine, China Review. In 2007, he founded the Transition Institute, which has conducted research and advocacy on tax reform, local election, business regulation, legal reform, citizen participation, and equal rights to education. Guo and other staff played a key role in Chen Guangcheng (’s rescue operation in April 2012, when they successfully helped bring Chen to the US Embassy. He was also involved with the Liren China Rural Libraries, a charity organization that promotes education (many Liren branches were shut down by government orders starting 2011, and the libraries were forced to completely ended operations in 2014 under government pressure). In recent years, Guo Yushan has been put under tight surveillance, most recently in 2012, when he was under house arrest for several months after helping Chen Guangcheng.