China Jails Seven More Pro-Democracy Activists

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

CHINA announced on Feb. 25 jail sentences for seven more dissidents involved in the spring 1989 democracy movement in the biggest judgment of its kind in a year.

The new trials signal that China's Communist leaders have no intention of easing political repression, despite its recent calls for pushing forward bold, market-oriented reforms of the economy.

The sentencings coincide with a US Senate vote on legislation that would make renewal of China's most-favored-nation trading status contingent on improvements in human rights.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

Beijing's intermediate court announced the conviction of the seven activists for "counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement," according to reports from the capital. Those sentenced include Wu Xuecan, a former editor of the Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily, Beijing University students Peng Rong and Li Minqi, and student leader Zhai Weimin.

* Mr. Wu was sentenced to a four-year term for publishing a mock edition of the party newspaper. The edition, which was distributed to protesters in May 1989, called for the overthrow of hard-line Premier Li Peng and voiced support for his moderate rival, the now disgraced party chief Zhao Ziyang.

* Peng Rong was given two years for posting the results of a survey on the attitudes of Beijing students toward another round of protests in 1990. Peng also made speeches and led student marchers in the spring 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

* Mr. Li, a biophysics major at Beijing University, was detained for attacking the government in an impassioned speech to some 1,000 students attending a rally on June 4, 1990.

* Listed sixth on the government's list of "21 most wanted" students, Mr. Zhai went into hiding after the June 1989 Beijing massacre and managed to evade arrest for nearly a year.

The backgrounds and sentences of three other activists, Dong Huaiming, Wang Zhongxian, and Wang Guoqing, were unknown.

Share this story:

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...