Thursday, February 23, 2006

Mao: symbolic acts

In May 1989, protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing handed over to the security police three activists who had thrown red paint at the portrait of Mao which overlooks the square.
Convicted of sabotage and counter-revolutionary propaganda, journalist Yu Dongye was sentenced to 20 years, bus driver Lu Decheng was sentenced to 16 years, and friend Yu Zhijian was sentenced to life.
Almost seventeen years after that symbolic act in the Square of Heavenly Peace, Yu Dongyue, the last of the trio, has now been released from prison.
During his detention, Yu was very badly mistreated. As well as suffering bouts of brutal beating, Yu was subject to electro-shock treatment, and spent long periods in solitary confinement. Sadly, Yu has been reduced to a babbling shell, a wreck of a man. He is now 38.
According to the human rights watchdog Dui Hua Foundation, this leaves about 70 political prisoners still serving time for the 1989 protests. Tiananmen's broken rebel is freed: Times Online

(Amnesty International? Please, press the button that's in the column on the right)

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