China’s Tiananmen anniversary blackout

Pro-democracy protester blocking tanks in Tiananmen Square, Beijing in June 1989. © APGraphicsBank

By Amnesty International’s China team

Updated on: 10 June 2014

Twenty-five years on, Chinese citizens continue to be persecuted for trying to remember the events of 1989 when hundreds, if not thousands, of protesters were killed or injured on the night of 3 and 4 June after the People’s Liberation Army opened fire on unarmed civilians.

The weeks leading up to the 25th anniversary on 4 June have seen activists placed in detention while others have been questioned by police or placed under house arrest, as the authorities try to prevent people from publicly remembering those who died in the crackdown.

Amnesty International continues to document names of activists that have been targeted ahead of the 4 June. Below is the latest information the organization has received on those detained, questioned or missing ahead of the 25th anniversary of the bloodshed.

The 1989 crackdown remains an official taboo in China. Attempts to commemorate, discuss and demand justice for what happened are forcefully curbed, with no public discussion allowed.

Criminally detained (by police on suspicion of a crime)

  • Pu Zhiqiang, human rights lawyer. Detained on 6 May in Beijing on suspicion of “picking quarrels” (taken away for questioning on 4 May) after attending a seminar on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown on 3 May. Reportedly denied adequate medical treatment. 
  • Hao Jian, film critic and academic. Detained on 6 May in Beijing on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. Released on bail on 5 June.
  • Xu Youyu, academic. Detained on 6 May in Beijing on suspicion of “picking quarrels”.  Reportedly denied adequate medical treatment in detention. Released on bail on 5 June.
  • Liu Di, writer. Detained on 6 May in Beijing on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. Released on bail on 5 June.
  • Hu Shigen, writer. Detained on 6 May in Beijing on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. Released on bail on 5 June. (See Amnesty’s Urgent Action on the above five detainees.)
  • Gao Yu, journalist. Detained on 8 May in Beijing on suspicion of “leaking state secrets to a foreign entity” (taken away together with her son Zhao Meng on 24 April. Zhao Meng was released on 23 May.)
  • Xie Wenfei. Detained on 8 May in Foshan, Guangdong province, on suspicion “picking quarrels”
  • Qu Zhenhong, detained on suspicion of “illegally obtaining personal information”
  • Tang Jingling, detained in Guangzhou on 16 May on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. Reportedly beaten up in detention. 
  • Wang Qingying, detained in Guangzhou on 16 May on suspicion of picking quarrels.  Reportedly beaten up in detention. 
  • Shengguan (Xu Zhiqiang), Buddhist monk, detained in Wuhan city, Hubei Province, on 18 May on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.
  • Chang Boyang, a lawyer was questioned on 27 May evening. He was detained in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on suspicion of “assembling a crowd to disturb public order” on 29 May. Chang reportedly signed a statement in support of individuals that attended a memorial  for late Chinese Communist Party leaders Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang in Henan on 2 February.
  • Ji Laisong, a lawyer, detained in Zhengzhou, Henan province, on suspicion of “assembling a crowd to disturb public order”. He reportedly attended a memorial for late Chinese Communist Party leaders Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang in Henan on 2 February.
  • Yuan Xinting, was not heard from in the week of 20 May. It was later confirmed he is detained in Guangzhou on suspicion of “picking quarrels.”
  • Xin Jian, a news assistant of Japanese newspaper Nikkei in Chongqing, was detained in Chongqing on suspicion of “picking quarrels”. She was taken away by Chongqing police on 13 May in relation to the case of Beijing lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who was criminally detained on 6 May. (Released on 7 June)
  • Wang Aizhong, detained on 29 May in Guangzhou on suspicion of “picking quarrels”.
  • Luo Xi, a 1989 student activist, detained on 31 May in Xinning County, Hunan province, on suspicion of “picking quarrels” for commemorating June 4 online.
  • Chen Jianfang, taken away on 13 May and it was reported on 1 June that Chen was criminally detained on 1 June on suspicion of “disturbing order in a public place”.
  • Li Zhengran, was confirmed on 28 May to be detained in Hengyang, Hunan province, on suspicion of “picking quarrels”.
  • Cai Congfu, detained on on 17 May in Wuhan, Hubei province, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.
  • Wan Li, detained on 17 May in Wuhan, Hubei province, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.
  • Ma Qiang, aka Xiyu Wuzeng (“Western Martial Monk”), detained 17 May in Wuhan, Hubei province, on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power”.
  • Li Wangyang’s friend Yin Zhengan was detained on suspicion of “picking quarrels” by police in Shaoyang, Hunan on 31 May.
  • Zhao Huaxu (Twitter account: @RFITB), 22, detained for tweeting to propose using pseudo base station to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown

 

Formally arrested (arrest approved by the prosecutor)

  • Xu Guang, former June 4 student leader, was formally arrested in Zhejiang and charged with “inciting subversion of state power” on 9 May

 

Detained (but not yet accused of a crime or formally arrested)

  • Chen Guang, artist and former soldier. Detained on 7 May, believed to be in connection to a art performance held in private which referenced June 4
  • Wu Bin (aka Xiucai Jianghu), detained on 8 May in Foshan, Guangdong province
  • Yang Chong, detained on 8 May in Foshan, Guangdong province
  • Guo Jian, Chinese-Australian artist, taken away on 2 June in Beijing
  • Lu Cheng, aka “Genius Idiot Dream”, detained on 3 June evening in Hunan province
  • Zhou Yahua, aka “Yanba” (Salt), detained on 5 June after writing about June 4 on his blog

 

‘Forced travel’

  • Bao Tong, 81 years old, Zhao Ziyang’s political aide, was taken away from his home in Beijing for “mandatory travel” to an unknown place on 30 May. (Taken back to his home in Beijing on 7 June)
  • Zha Jianguo, Beijing
  • Li Jianjun, Huaihua, Hunan province, was taken away to “forced travel” on 31 May
  • Gao Hongming, Beijing
  • Yan Zhengxue, Beijing
  • Zhu Chunliu, Beijing
  • Qi Yueying, Beijing
  • Zou Wei, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Qi Zhiyong, Beijing
  • Ye Du, taken away from Guangzhou to Zhuhai, Guangdong province, on 3 June
  • Huang Yuzhang in Nanning city, Guangxi, forced to travel
  • Lai Rifu in Guangzhou, forced to travel
  • Fan Yiping in Guangzhou, forced to travel
  • Li Xiaoning in Guangzhou, forced to travel
  • Liu Sifang, in Guangzhou, forced to travel
  • Liang Taiping, “arranged by his employer” to travel to suburb of Chenzhou, Hunan province
  • Ou Biaofeng, in Hunan province, forced to travel in Guizhou since June 1

 

Blocked from travelling to Hong Kong

  • Chen Zongyao in Wenzhou was blocked from going to Hong Kong as he planned to attend the candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on 4 June
  • Wang Longji in Shenzhen was blocked from going to Hong Kong as he planned to attend the candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on 4 June

 

Questioned by police

  • Zhang Xianling, spokesperson of Tiananmen Mothers
  • Cui Weiping
  • Guo Yuhua
  • Qin Hui
  • Zhou Feng
  • Wang Dongcheng
  • Wu Wei
  • Wang Xiaoshan
  • Liang Xiaoyan
  • Li Xuewen
  • Ye Du
  • Chen Shuqing, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Huang Yonghua, aka “Crescent”, “invited to have tea” by the police in Hengyang, Hunan province, on 27 May and was threatened not to take part in any activities to commemorate June 4 and not leave Hengyang city.
  • Zhang Wei, “invited to have tea” by the police in Nanning city, Guangxi, on 4 June.
  • Zhou Jie, aka “Zhouzhou Zhuzhou” (Zhouzhou Makes Congee), “invited to have tea” by the police in Changsha, Hunan province
  • Shao Jiajun, “invited to have tea” by the police in Changsha, Hunan province.

 

Under house arrest

  • Ding Zilin, Tiananmen Mothers’ spokesperson, not allowed to return to Beijing, currently in her hometown in Jiaxing, Jiangsu province (Taken back to her home in Beijing on 7 June)
  • Hu Jia, since 24 February in Beijing
  • Zhang Zuhua, Beijing
  • Sun Wenguang, Jinan, Shandong province
  • Zhou Duo, BeijingCao Siyuan, Beijing
  • Li Hai. Beijing
  • He Depu, Beijing
  • Kang Yuchun, Beijing
  • Ye Jingchun, Beijing
  • Li Jinping, Beijing
  • Zhang Shanguang, Huaihua, Hunan province
  • Liu Shaoming, Guangzhou
  • Chen Kaiping, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Lu Gengsong, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Ma Qingxiang, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Wu Yuanming, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Qi Huimin, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Gao Haibing, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Lai Jinbiao, Hangzhou Zhejiang province
  • Liu Shihui, taken away on 13 May and released on 26 May, reportedly injured during detention, and deprived of proper medical treatment. Under house arrest in Inner Mongolia.
  • Ouyang Jinghua, Shaoyang city, Hunan province
  • Tang Haiding, Shaoyang city, Hunan province

 

Other illegal forms of detention

  • Ni Yulan, a former human rights lawyer in Beijing, was forced to Attend Legal Education Class” on 3 June

 

Missing and believed to be detained

  • Vivian Wu Wei, last heard from on 7 May in Beijing (Released on 7 June)
  • Wen Kejian, last heard from on 13 May in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
  • Jiang Lijun, last heard from on 16 May in Shenyang, Liaoning province
  • Ma Xiaoming, last heard from on 20 May in Xi’an
  • Chen Junxian, in Changsha, Hunan province
  • (The following five people are believed to have been detained earlier this week. All attended a memorial for late Chinese Communist Party leaders Zhao Ziyang and Hu Yaobang at Zhao’s hometown in Henan on 2 February):
  • Shi Yu, journalist in Henan, detained in Zhengzhou, Henan
  • Fang Yan
  • Hou Shuai
  • Yu Siwen
  • Chen Wei

 

Administratively detained

  • Li Hongwei, administratively detained in Jinan, Shandong province, on 26 May for seven days
  • Chen Qingquan, Li’s husband, administratively detained in Jinan, Shandong province, on 26 May for five days
  • Zhang Qi, detained on 1 June in Chongqing
  • Huang Yijian, detained on 1 June for 7 days in Hengyang, Hunan province

 

Detained and subsequently released

  • Tan Kai, detained on 2 April. Released on 9 May but remains under “residential surveillance”


Many more continue to serve long prison sentences related to their calls for greater openness and political reform in China. This includes the Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, Chen Wei, Chen Xi, Zhu Yufu and Gu Yiwen.

 

Read more:

Tiananmen crackdown: Repression intensifies on eve of 25th anniversary (News story, 3 June 2014)
China: Crackdown intensifies ahead of Tiananmen anniversary (News story, 7 May 2014)
China: Detention of journalist for leaking state secrets a ‘smokescreen’ (News story, 8 May 2014)

Posted in Asia And The Pacific, Censorship and Free Speech, China, Demonstrations, Detention, Human Rights Defenders and Activists, Internet and Social Media, Press Freedom, Prisoners of Conscience, Uncategorized, Unlawful Detention | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

  1. Lynn Farmer says:

    The authorities are awful! There should be free-speech!

  2. Lee Wen says:

    This is a violation of law by the state police. If the people who govern the People’s Republic of China wants to be respected and seen as a responsible ruling government they must first adhere to the principle of rule by law. What they have done here is rule by criminal actions. How can they be trusted to the expectations of a people who have been most optimistic and positive confidence of a secure future ahead? How can any one of us dare go to a country whose ruling government behave like gangsters and h ave no regard for law and order themselves. Are these actions not violations of law committed by police that are supposedly the defender of innocent people but now appears on the contrary to be a threat to law abiding citizens. How can they do things like that and claim they are for the sake of stability? Anyone who is rational can see they threaten THE CHINA we all want to see as a people’s revolution that was successfully becoming slowly to be an equally respected citizen of the world as its seat in the United Nations seems to imply. We all should call for them to desist in these rogue actions or lose their status in the U.N. and boycott visits to China until they show themselves as a responsible government that keep it’s integrity intact to rule by law rather than threatening actions of criminality instead!!!

  3. obama cameron says:

    Well done China. Keep it on. Never negotiate and tolerate with terrorist and democracy. Bravo communist.

  4. Paola says:

    what else to say? Shame on you!!

  5. Luis Alberto artinez Alvarez says:

    Es necesario que se admita a la diversidad comoun derecho ineludible para disentir. Las sociedads humanas debemos dejar de posecionarrnos en dogmas, reglas, pues estas siempre defienden intereces o aprivilegios particulares y específicos.Tienen como limitante, que en unb momento de la historia
    a una sociedad le parezcan muy justas, pero pasado el tiempo se comportan como dictatoriales que contraen los espacios de libertad. Ocurre aque la libertad es concienciadad en relación directa al conocimiento de la realidad, estando siempre esto en constante evolución,.Lo malo es que quienes defienden esos principios sustentados por el respaldo jurídico imperante, sae radicalizan ante la necesidad de ajustes, recurriendo ahasta la violación de los drechos mas elementales. El sistema político chino no se ha renovado, por otro lado se han generado en el seno de sus pueblos muy diversos, sentidos de localismo, expreciones culturales muy ancestrales que nunca desaparecieron ejerciendose clandestinamente, junta a las insastifaciones sociales generadas por un proceso de evolución de la conciencia humana, son el coktel fermental social de hoy en día. No se puede reprimir la evolución,siempre producen estallidos de graves concecuencias.

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