Dissident Allowed Lawyer Visit After Four Months in Jail
Guo’s lawyer, Chen Guangwu, told HRIC he was allowed to meet his client on Nov. 14 in the Tianhe Detention Center in southern Chinese Guangzhou Province, where Guo is being held.
Lawyer Chen reported that Guo, a self-taught legal defender, had been on a hunger strike from Aug. 8 to Sept. 2, and that he looked haggard. Chen said that his reactions were slow, and that he was unlike his “previously quick-witted and talkative self.”
Formally arrested and charged on Sept. 12 with suspicion of “gathering a crowd to disrupt order in a public place,” a catch-all charge used to jail dissidents, Guo was held for over a week before his family was informed.
A subcommittee hearing of the U. S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs late in October heard Guo’s wife, Ms. Zhang Qing, testify that his attorney has made seven requests to visit him, but all were denied.
Other rights defenders believe that Guo’s activities earlier in the year demanding the disclosure of Communist Party officials’ assets and asking for the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), were, in part, responsible for his arrest.
In another protest this year, Guo made a speech about the importance of a free press during protests outside the building of the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, based in Guangzhou. The paper had one of its editorials heavily censored by a provincial propaganda commissar a few days earlier.
Guo’s wife told the sub-committee that this is the fourth time in two years that he has been detained and incarcerated since his release from prison on September 2011, when he completed a five-year term for a false conviction. She testified that he was severely tortured while in prison.
Activists believe that the true reason behind the 2007 imprisonment were his human rights defense activities during the controversy over Taishi Village’s demand for new elections in the light of alleged corruption by village officials and his efforts to rescue imprisoned human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng.