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  • » 05/13/2009, 00.00

    CHINA

    Zhou Yongjun, who was in Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989, is arrested



    After fleeing to the United States the student leader tried to re-enter China last year but was caught by police. Now after months of secret detention he is charged with fraud. Dui Hua Foundation says at least 30 people are still in prison for their presence in Tiananmen Square on that fateful night.
    Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – After months in unofficial detention, Zhou Yongjun, a former student leader who took part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, was formally charged with fraud. Twenty years after the crackdown some 30 people are still believed to be behind bars.

    Zhou, who has been a US resident for years, secretly travelled to the mainland in September of last year but was detained as soon as he arrived from Hong Kong.

    Police yesterday charged him with fraud in his home town of Suining in Sichuan province. His family received the written arrest notice on Wednesday morning, a few weeks short of the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    The family also said that the police, who initially accused him of spying and other political crimes, now claim that he is in involved financial fraud. 

    In 1989 Zhou was a law student who helped organise the mass movement demanding democratic reform that erupted on Chinese streets in 1989.

    On that fateful night of 4 June he was in Tiananmen Square when army troops moved in to crush the protest, shooting at free will. Hundreds, perhaps thousands lost their lives (May 1989 street protest pictured).

    Zhou was arrested and held for years in prison. Released in 1993 he fled to the United States. However, he tried to re-enter China in 1998 but was caught and sentenced to three years of administrative detention in a re-education-through-labour camp. After he purged the sentence he again left for the United States in 2002.

    Today the Dui Hua Foundation, a human rights group, said that at least 30 people are still in prison as a result of the 4 June 1989 crackdown, accused of attacking soldiers who were shooting at the crowd. Many were young workers, who were treated harshly by the government, even more than students and intellectuals.

    In its statement, Dui Hua gave the actual names of 16 people either confirmed or believed to be still in jail.

    In the meantime in China after 20 years, talking about what in Tiananmen Square is still forbidden.

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    See also

    19/05/2009 CHINA
    Liu Zhihua, the last known prisoner jailed over Tiananmen protest, is freed
    Mr Liu organised a strike to protest the 4 June crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Human rights groups say however that at least 30 more people are still in jail for the same reason despite the fact that the authorities have said nothing about them. By contrast, the latter fear the Mothers of Tiananmen meeting to commemorate the death of their children.

    02/02/2009 HONG KONG – CHINA
    HK pro-democracy activists to invite exiled dissidents to commemorate Tiananmen Square crackdown
    Meetings, forums and seminars are planned to lead up to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Beijing will probably refuse visas to “counterrevolutionaries” involved in the 1989 event.

    02/06/2011 CHINA – TIBET
    Beijing cannot pay money to compensate for the Tiananmen Square massacre
    Tibetans and Indians express their solidarity towards the Mothers of Tiananmen and their movement as they seek the truth of what happened on 4 June 1989. For the former prime minister of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Beijing “is brutal to everyone, against minorities but also its own people”. Its offer of money in lieu of an apology is “unreasonable”.

    04/06/2007 CHINA
    Tiananmen massacre still continues today
    Eighteen years since the repression of the anti-corruption and pro-democracy movement, Han Dongfang, founder of the first free Chinese trade union, looks at the current situation of human and civil rights in his country and warns that continued repression and terror against the people can only undermine society as a whole.

    29/05/2006 CHINA
    Tiananmen Mothers: government should revise its views about the student movement, punish culprits
    In its annual open letter on the anniversary of the June 4 massacre, the group, led by Ding Zilin, calls on the authorities to revise their views and condemnation of the pro-democracy movement and compensate the victims.



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