The founder of a Chinese group that challenged Communist rule with a call for multiparty democracy has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, a human rights group said Saturday.
Former university professor and judge Guo Quan was sentenced for “subversion of state power” by a court in eastern Jiangsu Province on Friday, the New York-based group Human Rights in China said in a statement.
Guo had been detained numerous times since 2007, when he founded the China New Democracy Party, which he claimed had 40 million members. He was arrested in Nanjing, the provincial capital, last November. His wife told The Associated Press at the time that Guo was taken after dropping his son off at school.
The sentence was handed down on Guo Quan by a court in eastern coastal Jiangsu province at an especially sensitive time — after China celebrates 60 years of Communist rule this month, 20 years after troops crushed pro-democracy protests in Bejing.
The court action also precedes U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to China next month, when Beijing’s human rights record will be under the spotlight. Another dissident, Liu Xiaobo, a prominent pro-democracy writer and rights activist, also remains in detention, facing charges.