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Tiananmen activists listed as “most wanted "

As expats they keep on fighting for democracy

25 years after the crackdown, Amnesty International gathered the testimony of several activists who were detained and decided to expatriate after their release. 500 more dissidents instead managed to flee helped secretly by the activits of the Hong Kong Alliance for Tiananmen Students, as reported by the daily paper of the former British colony South China Morning Post. Also the French consulate would have helped them.  

Shao Jiang and Wang Dan were students as the event unfolded and took part in the campaign to demand democratic reforms. Their names were listed among the “most wanted” men in China. Shao Jang, then 18, had secretly spread some pro-democracy magazines and organized meetings where activists denounced the corruption existing in the Communist Party.Shao Jiang still remembers the smell of the tear gas launched in the night between 3 and 4 June 1989, which could be felt also at a distance from Tiananmen Square, as well as many people wounded. After the clashes he hid for three months, but he was arrested while trying to leave the country. Once released, he then chose the exile to escape persecution from the authorities and now he lives in Great Britain, where he is involved in the campaign to demand justice for the 1989 events, he told Amnesty International.
Wang Dan, 20 years old when the revolt broke out, was number one in the “most wanted” list for organizing gatherings and taking part in the hunger and thirst strike, like many other young people. “We did not think the government would send the armny against its own people”. he told Amnesty International. The night of 3 June Wang Dan was in the university dorm, he fled and hid himself, then he was arrested and sentenced to 4 years in jail. Freed in 1993, he was arrested again upon condition that he go into exile. Now he teaches Political science at the university of Taiwan. "If I had stayed, I could not do anything, I would be watched by police and I could not communicate with people. Outside China at least I am free to speak " he told Amnesty International.

According to the South China Morning Post at least 500 dissidents were helped flee from China by the activist of the Hong Kong Alliance for the Tiananmen Students, the group founded by Szeto Wah,  through operation Yellow Bird, that back in the days before the crackdown had already supported demonstrators in Beijing both financially and with the expedition of tents and sleeping bags  and then would have paid the bank fees to help the escape of students and intellectuals. Also the French consulate would have supported the operation, granting visas for the exiled without waiting for the approval of the French government. At least 130 people would have expatriated thanks to this rescue network.

3 June 2014

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