10/29/2007, 00.00
CHINA
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Tiananmen leader dies, he had asked for democracy ahead of the Olympic Games

Bao Zunxin, leader of the anti corruption pro democracy movement of Tiananmen Square and famous Chinese dissident, died yesterday evening at the end of a long illness. Condemned to five years in prison for his fight for democracy, he carried on in his quest urging the government to respect the Chinese people’s human rights.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Bao Zunxin, leader of the anti corruption pro democracy movement of Tiananmen Square and famous Chinese dissident, died yesterday evening at the end of a long illness. Bao, 70, was one of the 37 signatories of the open letter to the Chinese government published last August, which asked Beijing to implement human rights and democracy before the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.  For the full text of the Letter, click here.

During the mid-1980s, as a researcher at the prestigious China Academy of Social Sciences, Bao played an important role in an intellectual movement urging greater democracy in China, in fact his demands for democracy shock the leadership to its foundations.  His commitment led him to become one of the key leaders of the students and workers peaceful protests, which culminated in the bloody repression of the movement in June 1989.

Arrested during the clashes, in 1991 Bao was condemned to five years in prison “inciting counter-revolutionary propaganda," but released on bail after serving 11 months. Friend and fellow activist Chen Ziming explains: “After he was released from prison he continued to work for the advancement of democracy in China and helped organise numerous open letter campaigns to the government”.

 

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