Message from a brave soul in China

Received the following email from a brave soul in China:

June 2009 marks 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre.

Prior to the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre, around 50 bereaved parents and family members gathered on 17 May to mourn their beloved ones, who were killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, with the involuntary absence of Prof. Ding Zilin. The ceremony was allowed to take place only under the surveillance of the authority and several conditions of the Ministry of State Security, including prohibition of outsiders, especially foreign journalists, and could only proceed behind closed doors.

However, the co-founders of the Tiananmen Mothers, Prof. Ding Zilin, and her husband Prof. Jiang Peikun were barred from attending the ceremony. She was supposed to deliver a memorial speech, but the police did not allow her to leave her home on groundless reasons such as presence of supporters from Hong Kong and journalists from overseas, and big scale of the memorial ceremony. A co-founder of the Tiananmen Mothers, Ms. Zhang Xianling, anticipated that Prof. Ding would be monitored until the 20th anniversary had passed.

Meanwhile, a groundbreaking book, the Prisoner of the State, on the transcript of the late ousted General Secretary of the Communist Party Zhao Ziyang, was published in May. The book disclosed the discussion among the political leaders over the response to the 1989 Pro-democracy Movement. After the book was published,, Google’s free blog service, has been blocked in China in mid-May. Netizens suspected it was because Zhao’s articles could be accessed from those sites, and because the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre was approaching.

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