Crackdown Continues on Chinese Dissidents As Massacre Anniversary Passes

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china-yao2-060619.jpg Former Guizhou University professor Yang Shaozheng is shown in an undated photo.
Twitter / Yang Shaozheng

A former professor from the southwestern Chinese region of Guizhou is on the run after escaping detention by state security police in the wake of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre.

Former Guizhou University professor Yang Shaozheng, who was fired outright after he made comments critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party online, told RFA that he is now in a "temporarily safe" situation after fleeing following eight hours of interrogation, during which he was shackled to a chair.

Yang said he was taken away by police on Tuesday morning on suspicion of "picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," a public order charge often used to target peaceful critics of the government.

He was detained after posting on the social media platform WeChat the number of people who died in Beijing when the People's Liberation Army (PLA) used tanks and machine guns on unarmed civilians on the night of June 3, 1989 and in the days that followed.

"[They wanted me to] undress and put on their clothes. They said it was the rule of the case processing center," Yang told RFA from an undisclosed location on Thursday, adding that he had refused to comply.

"So then they put their clothes on top of my own clothes," he said.

"The handcuffs were attached to the chair, and they put manacles on my feet as well," said Yang, who also refused to allow the police to take blood for testing.

"Then they [discussed it] behind me and let it go, and didn't take any of my blood," he said.

Yang said he made a bid for freedom after the officers took him back to his home to search it.

An officer who answered the phone at Yang's local police station declined to comment when contacted by RFA on Thursday.

"The public security bureau will only speak to family members about such things," the officer said. "If you want details, you had better ask his parents."

'Picking quarrels, stirring up trouble'

Meanwhile, authorities in the central province of Hunan detained prominent rights activist Xie Wenfei for using social media to commemorate the Tiananmen massacre.

Xie's friend, who gave only his surname Huang, said he is currently being held under a 10-day administrative detention order, which can be handed down by police without trial.

"It's 10 days' administrative detention on suspicion of picking quarrels and stirring up trouble," Huang said. "He posted a poem he wrote and a few lines of calligraphy online to commemorate June 4."

Huang said Liaoning-based activist Lin Mingjie had also been detained on the eve of the 30th anniversary after he tried to travel to Beijing to commemorate the bloodshed and the weeks-long student-led democracy protests that preceded it.

"Lin Mingjie went to Beijing before June 4 and then disappeared, because of his rights activism prior to June 4," Huang said. "He had been followed for several days beforehand."

"There has been no news of him whatsoever," he said. "The authorities have been stopping people from bringing up June 4 for decades now."

"They don't want people remembering. They want to expunge it from public memory."

Reported by Wong Lok-to for RFA's Cantonese Service, and by Lin Ping for the Mandarin Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.


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