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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Tiananmen Square Dissident Retrial?

Former Tiananmen Square Leader granted retrial on non related charges.

A Human Rights In China press release states that sources within China have stated that one of the Tiananmen Square dissident leaders Zhang Ming has been granted a retrial by China's Supreme Court over non related charges for which he is serving a custodial sentence.

According to the press release:

Zhang Ming, one of the student leaders of the 1989 Democracy Movement, previously served three years in prison on charges of “counterrevolutionary incitement.” His most recent detention began on September 9, 2002, when he was arrested on charges of “endangering public safety” through an alleged plot to explode a multistory building. At the time of his arrest, Zhang Ming was president of a successful Shanghai company, and the amended charge on which he was ultimately convicted related to his business.

According to another source China Support Network Zhang Ming, a native of Jilin,was born in 1965 and enrolled in Tsinghua University in 1984 to study automotive engineering. He became involved in the student protests in the spring of 1989, and eventually took on a leadership role among the protesters at Tiananmen Square. Following the violent official suppression of the protests on June 4, Zhang Ming organized and led a series of follow-up protest actions that put him on the Chinese government’s “Most Wanted” list.

With regard to his current jail sentence China Support Network claim Zhang was arrested on September 9, 2002 on charges of “endangering public safety” through an alleged plot to explode a multistory building.

"At the time of his arrest, Zhang Ming was president of a Shanghai company that he had built into a flourishing concern. Given Zhang’s obvious dedication to his company, the authorities apparently realized that the accusation of violent activity could not be supported. On October 16, 2002 he was formally charged with “abuse of executive benefits,” for which the Shanghai Intermediate People’s Court sentenced him to seven years in prison on September 9, 2003." (China Support Network)

According to several sources the real reason for Zhang Ming’s arrest was his refusal to recant his political principles or express regret for his previous actions, and the ill feeling and envy that his financial success aroused among Chinese officials.

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