04/29/2014, 00.00
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Suzhou: police try to stop commemorations for Lin Zhao, a victim of the Cultural Revolution

Dozens of dissidents try to pay tribute to a woman who was executed after eight years in prison for advocating freedom of speech. Although rehabilitated by the Shanghai High Court in 1980, she remains dangerous to authorities for the example she continues to set for today's dissidents.

Suzhou (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Chinese police hauled away dozens of pro-democracy activists in Suzhou, after they tried to pay tribute to Lin Zhao, a famous dissident executed during the Cultural Revolution.

Although she died 46 years ago today, Lin remains a politically sensitive topic in today's China.

Chen Jianxiong, a rights activist from Dongguan in Guangdong said he was taken to a police station for questioning along with dozens of others.

Everyone was looking for Lin's grave, who was killed at the age 35 in 1968 for "counter-revolutionary crimes".

She was a student at Peking University when she was first prosecuted for advocating freedom of speech.

Sentenced for running an underground newspaper in 1960, she spent years in detention and was eventually executed in 1968 in the middle of the Cultural Revolution.

Her mother was informed of her death in May that year, when police asked her to pay five fen, or 0.05 yuan, for the bullet used to execute her daughter.

In 1980, the Shanghai High Court revoked Lin's verdict and declared her innocent posthumously.

At the time, The People's Daily, the top newspaper of the Communist Party, described her execution as a deed carried out by extremists during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.

Commemorations of Lin's death were revived in recent years as dissidents found inspiration in her defiance in the face of political persecution.

Chen said he had already been questioned on Monday over the purpose of his visit to Suzhou.

"Lin Zhao's spirit of dying rather than surrendering deserves admiration from all of us," Chen told the policemen during questioning.

The officers then drove him to the train station, hoping he would go home.

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