Human rights campaigner Guo Quan officially arrested
On December 19th family members of Guo Quan, a human rights campaigner from Nanjing city, received notice of Guo’s arrest from the People’s Procuratorate Office. Guo’s mother and wife feel powerless as the authorities won’t allow Guo any legal representation, saying the case involves state secrets.
Guo’s mother, Gu Xiao, said when she received notice of Guo’s arrest on the 19th, at the same time, police warned her not to pass information to sensitive websites or contact Guo’s friends. Gu says she can’t access the Internet and doesn’t know Guo’s friends. Her phone calls are often interrupted or disconnected and she believes she’s under surveillance.
Gu Xiao stated she is angry with the government’s policy, even though Guo is officially under arrest she still cannot visit him. She claims the government is secretly preparing to put Guo on trial. He has spent his life campaigning for the human rights of ordinary people and Gu Xiao wonders who will now campaign for his rights. Guo Quan was openly appealing to Chinese President Hu Jintao, and Gu Xiao ponders why the government accused him of planning to subvert state power.
Guo Lianhui, the lawyer hired by Guo’s mother, said Guo only publicized differing political opinions, but the authorities saw fit to suppress him using the state’s machinery. Police disprove of the lawyer’s appointment citing the need to protect state secrets.
In an interview with SOH, Guo Lianhui says he does not believe the case has anything to do with state secrets. All Guo did was publish articles advocating democracy and others exposing the lack of democracy and human rights in China. Guo says how the authorities are handling this case, represents a lack of these values. He further stated that Guo Quan wrote 347 articles, and offered constructive criticism to the Communist party, therefore he should be rewarded rather then suppressed.
Gu Xiao says they were an upper-class, intellectual family and could have lived comfortably, but Quan Guo spoke out for the lower classes of society at the risk of his own safety. Many people have offered donations, but she has declined and believes her son would not accept donation also.
Gu Xiao says she does not wish her son to be a hero or extraordinary, and just hopes he is safe, healthy and happy. She has been unwell and bedridden from worrying about her son.
Li Jing, Guo Quan’s wife, has also received phone calls from police notifying her of Guo’s arrest, she shares the same feelings of despair with Gu Xiao.
Posted by Michael Anderson on Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008