China dissident held ‘for criticising quake response’
Jonathan Watts in Beijing, The Guardian, Wednesday May 21 2008
Chinese police have detained a political dissident because of remarks he made about the government’s handling of the Sichuan earthquake, according to his family and supporters.
Guo Quan, the founder of the China Democracy party, was seized outside his home by seven or eight police officers four days ago. They searched his house and confiscated his computer.
‘They waited outside and caught him as he was taking our child to school,’ said his wife Li Jing.”
The following day, police officers told Li that her husband was being detained for at least 10 days because of false information he posted online.
It was unclear which comments upset the authorities. Guo has written a string of critical articles on the communist one-party political system. He was stripped of his professorial post at Nanjing university last year.
In the past week, he is said to have raised questions about the emergency services’ response to the quake and the safety of nuclear facilities in Sichuan. Fellow members of his small party believe his detention is connected to last week’s disaster.
“We think the authorities are taking revenge on Guo for remarks he made about disaster relief after the great Sichuan earthquake,” the group said in an online statement.