Police Silence Visitors to Executed Dissident’s Grave

Monday marked the 45th anniversary of the execution of Lin Zhao, a dissident who wrote criticisms of the government in her own blood while in prison. Despite her official rehabilitation in 1981, visitors to her grave have faced an unusually heavy police presence this year. From Patrick Boehler at South China Morning Post:

Liu Shihui, a lawyer from Inner Mongolia now living in Guangzhou, and Chengdu-based activist Chen Yunfei told the Post they were stopped by plainclothes state security officials on a road leading to Lin’s grave. They said they had been ruffed up and insulted by the plainclothes officials, who also deleted photos on their phones.

“Last year, I went to the grave and no one stopped me,” said Chen.

“This year it seems to have become a sensitive issue. They are trying to tarnish Xi Jingping’s constitutional Chinese dream,” he said, referring to a slogan by the new president that stirred hope among liberals for an unprecedented enforcement of rights guaranteed in the constitution.

[…] About a hundred people managed to get to the grave site, where they were met by just as many police officers, urban management officials and plainclothes state police, said 40-year-old Chen Zongyao from Wenzhou. “We were allowed to light incense, but not allowed to speak,” he said. “We are trying to go up to the grave again tomorrow.”

At The Washington Post (via Austin Ramzy), Philip Pan tells Lin’s story through that of filmmaker Hu Jie in an extract from his book, Out of Mao’s Shadow.


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