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Guo Yushan, September 22, 2016     On September 22, after nearly two years in detention and a trial in August, lawyer Xia Lin (夏霖), my friend, will finally face his sentence. Whatever he’s been charged with, it’s clear to everyone that it was only because he defended me that he has been imprisoned, and suffered as he has to this day. In May 2014, Xia Lin got dragged into a number of disputes because of his involvement in Pu Zhiqiang’s (浦志强) case. One day in mid June, me, Xia Lin, and Kaiping (黄凯平) were sharing drinks at Beijing Worker’s Stadium, lamenting Pu’s case. At a break in the conversation, Xia Lin suddenly said to me: “If you get sent to prison in the future, […]


By Lu Chai, published: May 21, 2015 “[F]ew options remain. You can turn your back on groups that are targeted and in trouble, and continue to advertise your own abstention from all things political. Or you can face up, with honesty, to the reality that civil society has little space to work in, muster your courage, and raise objections.”   The Beijing public security authorities have issued an indictment opinion that hammers the first nail into the coffin for the Chinese nonprofit think tank Transition Institute (TI, 传知行). The opinion recommends that the procuratorate indict Guo Yushan (郭玉闪)and He Zhengjun (何正军)on the charge of “illegal business operation.” There isn’t much to say about the case itself. A lot of solid commentary with a sound command of the law have already been written about the fact that the accused are innocent, and that […]


By Wan Yanhai, published: May 13, 2015   In March 2007, Guo Yushan (郭玉闪)and others co-founded Transition Social and Economic Consulting Limited, otherwise known as Beijing Transition Institute. In July 2013, Beijing Bureau of Civil Affairs sent Transition Institute (TI) a violation notice, alleging that the organization had not registered, and was operating publicly as a “private non-enterprise” without legal basis. Four years earlier in 2009, Gongmeng[1] (公盟, or Open Constitution Initiative) was outlawed by the government for the same “reason;” the contents of its entire office, including research data, was confiscated. Falling prey to the same tactics that had affected groups like Aizhixing (爱知行) and Gongmeng, TI was twice the target of audits from Beijing Municipal Tax Bureau, in 2009 and 2013. On October 9, […]


A translation of a VOA report in Chinese, published: March 11, 2015 Professor Xia Min of CUNY: “Xi’s fear is exactly that the maturing of civil society will organically provide, with the organizing capacity and solidarity within Chinese society, a platform for the building of political parties.”   A documentary produced by the well-known investigative journalist Chai Jing, formerly with CCTV, Under the Dome, has struck a deep chord in China. At the end of the documentary, Chai mentions that as China’s revised Environmental Protection Law is implemented, civil society environmental groups will have the unprecedented right to bring public interest lawsuits against polluting companies. However, according to a Beijing News (《新京报》) article [1], since the law went into effect in January 2015, only three […]


By Xiao Shu, published: January 11, 2015   I no longer have the desire to argue about the treatment of Guo Yushan and his colleagues from a legal perspective. We know that “illegal business practices” was the charge for which Guo was formally arrested on December 6th, after remaining in extralegal detention for more than two months. Back in 2007, the authorities used the same charge to sentence activist Guo Feixiong, while in 2013 it was the charge of “disturbing public order” that landed Xu Zhiyong, Ding Jiaxi, Zhao Changqing and other members of the New Citizens Movement in jail. Today, the charge of “illegal business” has been used on Guo Yushan and, as with before, it is never about the law . The punishment of […]


By Yang Zili, published: December 13, 2014 The Transition Institute researcher is on the run, and his letter provides clues (or no clues) about the recent detention of Guo Yushan and other TI personnel. – The editor   Dear Officer Li, This is Yang Zili (杨子立), a veteran employee of Transition Institute (传知行社会经济研究所). For lack of a safe way to reach you, I decided to write you this open letter, which I hope you will see, to let you know my thoughts and my position. Out of my own initiative, I also want let the public know what has happened to Transition Institute (TI), now that all of its main leaders have been detained. Among the current employees of TI, two are detained, and one […]


By Xiao Shu, published: November 9, 2014   I remember that it was October 10, and, as I was strolling along Jingmei River [in Taiwan], I suddenly thought that it had been over a week since I last heard Guo Yushan’s voice.  The day before I had sent a private message to him but there was no response. This was unusual as we kept in frequent contact, and so I could not but be apprehensive. I immediately phoned him. No one answered the first call; ditto the second and the third calls. I reluctantly hung up the phone with a sense of foreboding: Something is wrong. Something must be wrong. Sure enough, it was quickly confirmed. In the early morning hours of October 9, the […]


By Zeng Jinyan, published: October 30, 2014 “Watching his friends, who happen to be the hope of a better China, going to prison one after another, is more than personal shame. It is the shame of our time.”   Kou Yanding was taken away by police in Beijing on October 10th for “picking quarrels and provoking disturbances.”  The day before on October 9th, Guo Yushan was criminally detained on the same charge. Two days before the arrest, Kou Yanding, otherwise known as Button, was free in Hong Kong, helping me make a breakfast of eggs in noodle soup in my kitchen. To her friends in the NGO circle, Kou Yanding is a bestselling author on such incendiary subjects as trying on parliamentary procedures in Chinese […]


Published: July 16, 2013 According to our sources, Xu Zhiyong (许志永), one of China’s best known dissidents and activists, has been criminally detained on Tuesday, July 16. Per an earlier report by weiquanwang (维权网) and information circulated on Twitter,  Dr. Xu was taken away from his Beijing home Tuesday afternoon, and his computers and cellphones were seized. Dr. Xu is one of the founders of Gong Meng (公盟), or the Open Constitution Initiative, and a lecturer at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications. In the last couple of years, he has been tirelessly advocating civil action such as same-city citizen dinner gatherings, equal education rights, and what is more generally known as the new citizens’ movement. According to the Notice of Detention, Dr. Xu was detained for allegedly […]


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