Authorities in Beijing have detained an activist and legal scholar who helped in the escape of dissident Chen Guangcheng two years ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing his lawyers and family.
About a dozen police and state security officers took Guo Yushan from his home in a Beijing suburb early Thursday morning, the newspaper said.
“They came in with a warrant and took a lot of things as evidence, his computer, his iPhone, iPad and some hard drives,” Guo’s wife Pan Haixia was quoted as saying on Sunday.
The detention notice issued to the family said he had been detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels”, a crime used in the prosecution of dozens of activists in recent years.
His lawyers said they had yet to receive a response for the application they filed with Beijing No. 1 Detention Center to meet with Guo.
The 18th Communist Party Congress will hold its fourth plenum later this month, and such meetings are often preceded by security sweeps against activists like Guo, the report said.
Guo is a co-founder of the Transition Institute, an independent think tank in Beijing that advocates political and economic liberalization.
In 2012, he and a few other activists coordinated the daring escape of Chen Guangcheng, the blind legal activist who was being held under house arrest in the eastern province of Shandong.
Chen fled to the US embassy in Beijing, sparking a diplomatic crisis that was resolved after then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton negotiated a deal to allow him to travel to the United States, the Journal said.
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