China Rights Activist Beaten at Cemetery

The New York Times reports on the beating suffered by Sun Wenguang, a 75-year-old retired university professor in Shandong, when he went to a cemetery to pay his respects to Zhao Ziyang on Qing Ming day:

As he entered the cemetery in Jinan, a city about 230 miles south of Beijing, Mr. Sun said, four or five men attacked him and beat him severely. He is now in a Jinan hospital with three broken ribs and injuries to his spine, head, back, arms and legs, according to China Human Rights Defenders, a Hong Kong-based human rights group. The group said the attack on Mr. Sun was part of a concerted effort by the Chinese government to head off any efforts to memorialize the deaths of hundreds of Tiananmen Square protestors on June 4, the 20th anniversary of the government’s crackdown.

“Chinese authorities are staging a campaign of terror to intimidate and suppress expressions of commemoration for the 1989 Tiananmen massacre,” the group said in a statement. The attack on Mr. Sun “is part of the overall campaign,” it said.

Public security officials in Jinan referred calls about the incident to the propaganda office of the city’s Communist Party. No one answered phone calls to that office last night.

Mr. Sun said he had previously visited the cemetery to honor Mr. Zhao’s death on Qingming Day without serious incident. But this year, he said, announced his forthcoming visit in an Internet posting.

April 7, 2009 10:30 AM
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Categories: Human Rights, Politics