Editor Says Firing Was Linked to Tiananmen Gathering

Editor Says Firing Was Linked to Tiananmen Gathering

Li Xuewen, a playwright and essayist, has been dismissed from his position at a publishing house in what he says is retribution for his participation in a seminar marking the 25th anniversary of the 1989 protest movement. The gathering was attended by several lawyers, , and others, several of whom were detained afterward. Rights lawyer was later formally arrested on suspicion of “causing a disturbance”:

In a telephone interview Tuesday evening, Mr. Li said his boss had come under pressure from security agents in the two months since a group of and rights advocates gathered at an apartment in to discuss the 1989 crackdown, in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians were killed. A photograph of the seminar’s participants was posted on the Internet, drawing the attention of the authorities at a time when the Chinese government was anxious to tamp down any commemoration or discussion of the politically sensitive anniversary.

[…] Mr. Li said he underwent several police interrogations, including one that lasted six hours. But he said in the interview that he was somewhat surprised by his dismissal, because a high-ranking police official in Beijing had assured him that he would be left unscathed if he declined interviews with foreign news outlets.

He attributed his dismissal to security agents from Guangxi, the region in southern China where Lijiang Publishing House is based. “I held up my end of the bargain by refusing to talk to reporters, and this is what I get,” he said. [Source]

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