05/11/2020, 10.54
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Guangdong, five trade unionists arrested in 2018 are freed

They returned home on May 7 after two weeks of coronavirus quarantine. They had been arrested for joining students and workers who wanted to create a free union in a Shenzhen company. The connivance of the official union with the regime.

Shenzhen (AsiaNews) - Five union activists have been released after 16 months in captivity. Zhang Zhiru, Wu Guijun, Jian Hui, Song Jiahui and He Yuancheng returned home on May 7, reports the China Labor Bulletin (Clb). They had been released on April 24, but had to spend two weeks quarantined for coronavirus before reaching their families.

The five were arrested by the police in January 2018 for "disturbing public order". At the time, riot police officers had arrested 50 people. These were students and activist workers who wanted to found a free union within Shenzhen’s Jasic Technology, a listed company, which according to local workers treated its employees "like slaves".

The liberated unionists had been sentenced in a closed-door trial. In the past they had suffered further convictions for attempting to create independent unions. Free trade unions have been banned in China since the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations, when an alliance between students and workers began to form union associations. Their petitions ended with military intervention and massacre.

For Han Dongfang, director of the CLB, if the official union had supported these five activists in their struggles, instead of conniving with the regime, the workers' movement would have benefited greatly.

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