Chinese Government Must Stop Intimidating Citizens Seeking Truth About June 4, 1989

(Chinese Human Rights Defenders – May 6, 2014) – CHRD is alarmed by reports that about a dozen intellectuals and family members of Tiananmen victims have been summoned to “tea” to face police questioning in Beijing after they organized or attended a seminar on May 3 commemorating June Fourth. It is unusual that, with still one month to go before the anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, Chinese authorities have taken these actions against citizens who gathered to mark the tragic event, though such measures have been taken closer to the “sensitive” date in past years.

“This is an act of intimidation, clearly intended to send a signal to anyone who might contemplate any public expression to remember the bloody crackdown from 25 years ago,” said a Chinese activist who wishes to remain anonymous.

One of those summoned for questioning, the human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), was taken away by police after they searched his home and carted away his computer, cellphone, books, and other personal belongings around 4 PM on May 5. The raid of his home followed his being summoned by police around 11 PM on May 4. Police questioned him until 2 AM the next morning, when officers took him home for a change of clothes and then brought him back to a police station around 4 AM to continue the interrogation. As of midnight on May 5, Pu had not yet returned home (see report in Chinese).

Several others have also been summoned by police for hours, including Cui Weiping (崔卫平), a professor at Beijing Film Academy; Xu Youyu (徐友渔), a scholar retired from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; Guo Yuhua (郭于华), a Qinghua University professor; Qing Hui (秦晖), another scholar; and Liu Di (刘荻) and Hu Shigen (胡石根), both dissident writers. Liu, Hu, and Hao Jian (郝建), another Beijing Film Academy professor, still remain unaccounted for, with Hao missing for more than 30 hours at the time of writing.

Many participants at a “Commemorating June Fourth Seminar,” held on May 3 in Beijing, were summoned by police, and some have been detained, including lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强, at front right).

Many participants at a “Commemorating June Fourth Seminar,” held on May 3 in Beijing, were summoned by police, and some have been detained, including lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强, at front right).

Approximately 20 human rights lawyers, academics, and family members of victims attended the seminar in Beijing, where they discussed unresolved issues about June Fourth and called for investigation of the truth surrounding the event.

“This incident is particularly chilling. This year’s significant quarter-century anniversary will no doubt see tighter restrictions than ever on rights to peaceful assembly, association, and expression,” said Renee Xia, CHRD international director. “The Chinese government’s attempt to silence any expression about Tiananmen is a continuation of its 25-year policy to shelter those responsible for the massacre from accountability.”

Contacts:

Renee Xia, International Director, +1 240 374 8937, reneexia@chrdnet.com

Victor Clemens, Research Coordinator, +852 8192 7875, victorclemens@chrdnet.com

 

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