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June 4th “Hooligan” Update

June 3, 2004

For Immediate Release

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has obtained information regarding the current situations of a number of Chinese citizens sentenced to long terms for various crimes of so-called “hooliganism” during the brutal crackdown on protesters in June 1989.

Ren Hongze was sentenced to 14 years in Beijing No. 2 Prison. In October 1999 he died of a brain hemorrhage while still in custody.

The following people remain in prison in Beijing:

Beijing No. 2 prison:
Zhu Gengsheng, Dong Shengkun, Zhang Maosheng, Li Yujun, Zhu Wenyi, Miao Deshun, Xi Haoliang and Sun Hong – all originally sentenced to death, suspended for two years.
Zhao Suoran, Zhang Guodong, Chang Jingqiang, Wu Chunqi, Chang Yongjie, Sun Chuanheng, Gao Hongwei, Wang Lianhui, Sun Yancai, Shi Xuezhi, Wang Lianxi, and Li Zhixin – all sentenced to life in prison.

Li Hongqi – sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Yanqing Prison:
Jiang Yaqun – originally sentenced to death, suspended for two years.

Beijing Prison:
Liu Jianwen – sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Chadian Prison:
Feng Lisheng – sentenced to life in prison.

Released in 2003: Zhang Qun, Zhang Yansheng, Zhang Baoqun, Gao Liang, all originally sentenced to life in Beijing No. 2 Prison; and Zhao Qing, originally sentenced to 18 years in Beijing No. 2 Prison.

Released in 2002: Wang Yan, originally sentenced to life in Beijing No. 2 Prison; Du Jianwen, originally sentenced to 17 years in Beijing No. 2 Prison; Ma Lianxi, Lu Jinsheng, Peng Xingguo, Yang Yufu, Deng Wanyu and Li Fuquan, all originally sentenced to 15 years in Beijing No. 2 Prison; and Sun Zhengang and Li Hongmin, both sentenced to 14 years in Beijing No. 2 Prison.

The majority of the prisoners listed above were young people arrested while participating in the 1989 Democracy Movement. Their crimes included activities such as giving matches to other people or carrying matches on their persons, or throwing rocks at martial law troops as they opened fire on unarmed civilians. In the aftermath of the brutal crackdown, they became sacrificial victims whose “offenses” were used by the Chinese authorities to justify the civilian deaths, and as examples to others as they were tried and harshly sentenced. Because most of these prisoners participated in the protests as individuals and were unconnected to any group, their circumstances have remained largely unknown to the outside world, and they have enjoyed little of the public and international concern and attention that has helped secure release or improved conditions for more high-profile political prisoners.

“What details are known of their ‘crimes’ suggests that the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of most or all of these prisoners was every bit as unjustified as those of the student protesters and political activists,” said HRIC president Liu Qing. “They should be released immediately and allowed to rejoin society, and those already released should not be subjected to further prejudice or persecution.”