06/22/2009, 00.00
CHINA
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Many democrats arrested on the anniversary of June 4th, still in jail

Police have released many pro-rights activists who were arrested just before June 4th, but others are still detained. Signatories of Charter 08, the document for Democracy which has aroused great interest in the country, are the most affected.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Most of the human rights activists put in prison or under house arrest to prevent commemorations of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 4 June 1989, have been released. But the fate of many remains uncertain, such as that of Liu Xiaobo (see photo), signatory of the Charter 08 document.

The authorities are keeping a close surveillance on many activists and Democrats, such as the human rights lawyer Li Xiongbing in Tongzhou District in Beijing, who is watched around the clock. Instead Chen Yunfei of Chengdu (Sichuan), who was taken May 28 and detained without charge, has been released.

On June 10 the dissidents Jiang Qisheng, Zheng Zuhua, and Liu Xia, wife of Liu Xiaobo, were placed once again under house arrest. The latter is among the authors of Charter 08, a document sent by intellectuals to figures of note in Beijing in 2008 to demand more respect for human rights and greater democracy.

The document was immediately censored in China, but continued to circulate on the Internet, under different guises. Liu was taken away by police months ago, but has yet to be formerly charged.

There is still no news of Wang Chengming, the activist taken away by police in Beijing on June 2nd. While Chen Yang, who signed Charter 08, was arrested on June 3rd and beaten by police, also remains in prison. In prison too since May 28th,  Zhang Huaiyang Shenyang (Liaoning), another signatory of Charter 08, who only on June 16th was able to see his lawyer: on the internet he had invited people to gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate June 4th.

The Charter 08 document has aroused great concern in Beijing, also because it gave voice to popular demands in society and even among members of the Communist Party. The petitioners have been discriminated against or even jailed. On June 8 police forbid Wendao Liang, the Hong Kong scholar who signed the document, to hold a series of lectures at Sun Yatsen University and other institutions in Guangdong.

On June 3rd Police in Pingyang County (Zhenjiang) questioned Lu Yang, also a signatory of Charter 08, and inviting him to remove a commemoration of June 4th from his internet blog forced him to leave the area, where he has lived for over three years.

three lives years.

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