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China 13 November 2008

Well-known dissident blogger arrested for “subversion”

Guo Quan (

Reporters Without Borders condemns today’s arrest of blogger Guo Quan at his home in Nanjing (江苏省南京市), the capital of the central province of Jiangsu, for posting blog entries deemed to be “too radical”. He is currently being held in a Nanjing police station on a charge of “subversion of state authority.” The police took his computer when they arrested him.

“What the authorities regard as ‘too radical’ is open letters to the government calling for democratic change,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Guo’s arrest is further evidence, if any were needed, that the Chinese dictatorship systematically punishes those who express views different from the Party’s. We unfortunately fear that Guo could be jailed for a long time, like the 49 other cyber-dissidents currently held in China.”

Previously arrested on 18 May, Guo reported after being held for 10 days: “The authorities... tried to extract information from me. As I refused to name the dissidents I know, they kept me in custody for longer.” He said the Communist Party wanted to dismantle the network he created to help victims of the 12 May earthquake in the western province of Sichuan.

The Chinese New People’s Party, the pro-democracy party he founded at the end of last year, was meeting on a daily basis one week after the earthquake to collect blood and encourage acceptance of foreign humanitarian aid.

Guo had been under house arrest since February after calling for the creation of a Chinese Netizen Party to combat online censorship. He also announced on 4 February that he intended to sue the US company Google for ensuring - at the Chinese government’s request after he created the Chinese New People’s Party - that searches for his name on its Chinese-language search engine ( yielded no results.

Guo has been posting open letters on his blog calling for pro-democracy reforms ever since he was fired from his post as philosophy professor at Nanjing university.

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