Skip to comments.China rounds up, beats mourners for deposed leader Zhao: witnesses
Posted on 01/27/2005 1:31:34 PM PST by .cnI redruM
BEIJING (AFP) - China has detained dozens of people, some of whom have been severely beaten, for trying to mark the death of former leader Zhao Ziyang, witnesses said.
The allegations came as the government intensified security to prevent mourners attending Saturday's funeral in Beijing for Zhao, the former Communist Party secretary general purged for opposing the 1989 military crackdown on the Tiananmen democracy movement.
At least three people, including a woman in her 70s, were punched and manhandled by police officers outside the government offices which receive complaints in the Chinese capital, witnesses said.
They were among some 60 people who pinned white paper flowers to their clothes, a traditional Chinese symbol of mourning, said a bystander who took pictures of the beatings and posted them on overseas websites.
"A man from Henan province was beaten badly. His left eyeball looked like it was beaten out of its socket and he had a one inch cut to his right eye," said the man who requested anonymity.
"An elderly woman from Shandong province was beaten to a point where she couldn't move and a man from Hunan province was also beaten," he said.
Police shouted at the petitioners that Zhao, who spent nearly 16 years under house arrest until his death last week, was a "political criminal," the witness said.
"They said: 'Why are you commemorating him? You're clearly opposing the government. But the petitioners said 'We think differently. We think he's a good person."
Also last week, an estimated 80 to 90 petitioners were rounded up near Zhao's traditional courtyard home in Beijing for trying to get inside to pay respects and express condolences to his family, petitioners said.
"In our petitioners' hostel, all 10 people who went were detained and held from from 9 am to 11 pm," said Bai Shuhua, one of the 10.
"In the police station, they said 'You don't seek leaders who are alive, but insist on seeking dead leaders. How can the dead help you?" Bai said.
One of the petitioners, Liu Hongbo, was punched twice as he yelled "Zhao didn't do anything wrong," Bai said.
Zhao, prime minister and head of the Communist Party for much of the 1980s, died on January 17 at the age of 85.
The authorities fear his death and funeral on Saturday will be a rallying point for dissidents, petitioners and people dissatisfied with the government.
Zhao was purged for opposing the military crackdown on the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in which hundreds, if not thousands, were killed.
China announced last week it would not hold memorial services for Zhao but only a "farewell activity for the body," which is effectively a funeral.
In China it is common practice for bodies to be cremated rather than buried.
But family members and the government have been in dispute over the official assessment of Zhao, the guest list and where his ashes should be placed.
These issues have yet to be resolved, a family friend told AFP, despite agreement on the date for the funeral.
"The official assessment is still under discussion," said the friend, who asked not to be identified.
Asked which government officials might attend to pay their respects, the friend said: "It is still unclear."
Diplomatic sources told AFP last week that Premier Wen Jiabao paid a secret visit to the man, who used to be his boss, two weeks before he died but there was no word on whether he would attend the funeral.
Wen was famously pictured standing next to Zhao on Tiananmen Square in the last photograph before he was purged and placed under house arrest.
The government labels Zhao a former official who made a "grave mistake" in his handling of the Tiananmen protests, while acknowledging his contributions towards economic reforms in the 1980s.
Zhao's family strongly objects to the words "grave mistake" being included in an official assessment of his legacy.
Such an assessment is normally agreed with the family before the funeral. A negative assessment could jeopardise the careers of the deceased's offspring within the party or the government, although most of Zhao's five children are in private business.
Now that's how to write government propaganda! I admire someone who can cram that much BS into one sentence. lol!
This reads like one of Hitlery Rodham-Stalins most cherished dreams. I bet she salivates hearing of such unbridled, ruthless government power.
Where are the pictures at?
I doubt we want to renew the arms race, and try to outspend the Chinese, do we?
It's not the arms race that I am against, it is the economics of the race that interests me. We overspent them, driving their economy to the ground, which lead to the Soviet's collapse. I don't see us using the same tactic against the Chinese.
And yes, there the Chinese are acting like there is an arms race on. I just don't see how we could outspend them, when Congress is complaining about spending another 80 billion in Iraq. And our national deficit just keeps growing, without any cuts in spending.
It nice to know that Chinese govt is still up to old tricks
Why we doing business with China govt???
"We will encourage reform in other governments by making clear that success in our relations will require the decent treatment of their own people." --President George Bush
Well, he said it. Here is where the rubber meets the road. I wonder if the Chinese Communists' brutality will be held against them by this administration.
Because it's profitable. That's basically it.
But isn't China nice and peaceful? This must be a lie about our friends in China!
Could it be that the cadres are making the same mistake with
Zhao that they made with Hu Yaobang?
"I doubt we want to renew the arms race, and try to outspend the Chinese, do we?"
No, the point is that the USA should not be enriching China so it may become a more potent adversary than it already is.
"At least three people, including a woman in her 70s, were punched and manhandled by police officers outside the government offices which receive complaints in the Chinese capital, witnesses said."
"Why we doing business with China govt???"
*Anything* in the PRC is the Chinese Government. There is an illusion of private business - but those businesses can be seized at will by the Party. Their laws are little more than window dressing becuase, as we see here, their laws do not apply to the government. Just to the governed.
Wanna free China? Send guns.
Hu says China is peaceful.
Is there any way you can post those pictures on here? As you might have guessed I can't open the site over here.
See the other thread
And, I think the photos have made the wires now. I saw one in Taipei Times