Beijing Dissident Jiang Qisheng Summoned, Home Searched: Police Actions Stepped Up in Advance of Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre

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(Chinese Human Rights Defenders, March 31, 2009) – This morning, Jiang Qisheng (江棋生), a former 1989 prisoner, dissident writer, and vice-chairman of Independent Chinese PEN, was taken away from his home and interrogated by police. Officers searched his home and confiscated 3 computers, bank cards, many books, notebooks, and manuscripts. He was released just before 5pm Beijing time after six hours of questioning.

Police threatened Dr. Jiang, formerly a physicist, and warned him against playing any role in organizing commemorative activities to observe the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen massacre. During the interrogation, police produced a print-out copy of an article about the June 4th crackdown that Dr. Jiang was working on from his computer. They made it clear that they were carrying out orders from the top to stamp out any activities related to June 4th commemoration.

The officers, 14 or 15 policemen from the National Security Unit under the Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB), arrived at Jiang’s home at 9:30 am today and took Jiang away after producing a warrant for summons (chuanhuan zheng). The police then cut off the landline telephone connection at Jiang’s home and ordered his wife, Zhang Hong (章虹), to hand them her mobile phone. The police conducted a thorough search of Jiang’s home, and confiscated a desktop computer, two laptop computers, bank cards and a large number of books and manuscripts. The police left Jiang’s home at around 2 p.m.

“The summoning of Dr. Jiang is a warning to all citizens who are preparing to observe the 20th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement. This blatant violation of a citizen’s freedom of expression announces the Chinese government’s war against any form of commemoration for those killed in June 1989 and demands for official accountability,” said Renee Xia, CHRD’s international director.

In 1989, as a Ph.D. student in philosophy of science at the People’s University of China, Jiang participated in the pro-democracy movement. For that he was imprisoned between September 1989 and February 1991. In 1999, the 10th anniversary of the government’s crackdown, Jiang was imprisoned for writing an article commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre. Since his release in May 2003, he has continued to write critical social commentaries.

Jiang is also a signatory to Charter 08, and he was harassed and warned for his endorsement of the petition at the beginning of the year.

For more information, please contact:

Renee Xia, International Director (English and Mandarin): +852 8191 6937

Wang Songlian, Research Coordinator and English Editor (English, Mandarin and Cantonese): +852 8191 1660

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