Aides Wife Injured as China Cracks Down on Zhao Mourners


2005.01.18
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ZhaoJuly150.jpg
The late Zhao Ziyang, ousted Prime Minister and Chinese Communist Party general secretary, dated July 13, 1987 in Beijing. Photo: AFP/Files

HONG KONG--The wife of Bao Tong, former aide to the late ousted Chinese Party boss Zhao Ziyang, has sustained a fracture following a confrontation with security men who prevented them from carrying out mourning activities for Zhao.

"It is against the Constitution, against humanity and unreasonable for the highest levels of authority to prevent mourning activities for Zhao Zhiyang," Bao said in a statement.

It is against the Constitution, against humanity and unreasonable for the highest levels of authority to prevent mourning activities for Zhao Zhiyang.

"We only wished to bow and say our farewells to Zhao's portrait at his house. We never thought the authorities would be so weak, so uptight, so ready to use the 'rule of law', so 'human-centred'," he said.

During the confrontation, Bao's wife Jiang Zongcao was pushed to the ground by unidentified security officers as they set off for Zhao's Beijing home to attend a vigil for the former Communist Party boss. She fractured a bone in her spine.

Bao's wife sustains serious injury

Bao is now confined to his bedroom with his phone line cut and the plainclothes security men sitting at his doorway, the statement said.

Meanwhile, police prevented several hundred petitioners from going to the house where Zhao was confined from 1989 until his hospitalization last week with a host of cardiac and respiratory problems, a New York-based rights group said.

Bao's daughter, Bao Jian was only allowed to take her 73-year-old mother to the hospital after consultation with top levels of authority, and Bao was prevented from going with her.

'Orders from the top'

"You cannot leave your home," the security officers told him. "Those are the orders from the top."

The officers refused to show any identification, and communicated with their superiors via walkie talkie, the statement said, and declined to reveal who had sent them.

You have to get rid of the white flower and the black armband before you get any medical help.

Meanwhile, Jiang's X-rays at the nearby Railway General Hospital showed a fracture to one of her vertebrae, requring bed rest for at least eight weeks without sitting or standing.

Her recovery was not certain owing to her age, doctors told Bao Jian. The incident was the second time Jiang had been pushed over in the street. Bao had also sustained minor injuries to finger and wrist in the scuffle.

When he asked to see a doctor, he was told: "You have to get rid of the white flower and the black armband before you get any medical help."

Petitioners arrested for mourning

"Is this how the Communist Party remembers its comrades?" Bao Tong retorted, returning to the bedroom to help his wife, refusing medical assistance.

Meanwhile, at least 400 hundred petitioners had gathered at an assembly point in Beijing, dressed in mourning and carrying floral wreaths and banners imprinted with the words, 'In Memory of Our Good Leader,'" Human Rights in China (HRIC) said in a statement.

They then walked in a procession to Zhao’s home in the Fu Qiang Hutong to pay their respects to Zhao, who was purged for his sympathetic stance towards the 1989 Tiananmen pro-democracy movement, and his opposition to the use of force against the students.

In Shanghai, some 1,000 police officers detained hundreds of petitioners engaged in public mourning for Zhao, and took them to local dispatch stations for further processing, HRIC quoted sources as saying. It said police beat a number of petitioners in detention.

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