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NEWS: Report: China Releases Tiananmen Protester After 15 Years

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posted on Nov, 20 2004 @ 08:58 AM
A simple worker in a factory that helped organize a strike during the 1989 Pro Democracy protests in Tiananmen Square has been released following 15 years of prison. Convicted of "hooliganism", Chen Gang, had been given a life sentence. Information has been slow to come out as he had been released last April following a reduction in sentence.
BEIJING - A factory worker who helped to organize a strike during China's 1989 pro-democracy protests has been released after nearly 15 years in prison, a U.S.-based prison rights group said Saturday.

Chen Gang reportedly was convicted of "hooliganism" and sentenced to life in prison following the violent crackdown that ended the 1989 protests centered on Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, the Dui Hua Foundation said.

Chen was released in April after the government reduced his sentence several times, the foundation said, citing information it said it had just received from China's Justice Ministry.

The announcement highlighted the detention of people sentenced to long prison terms after the 1989 crackdown. It wasn't clear how many were still behind bars on charges of counterrevolution.

Chen worked for the Xiangtan Electrical Machinery Plant, one of the biggest government factories in the central province of Hunan, the Dui Hua Foundation said. It said he helped to organize a strike that shut down the factory during the 1989 protests.

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Several factories went on strike during the uprising. Following the brutal massacre that put the protests down, the Chinese government aggressively went after the strike organizers. The death toll and the total numbers in still in prison remain a mystery. This seems to be a tactic that they employ frequently. Recall if you will the doctor that let the world know that the SARS epidemic had begun in China was sentenced to jail as well. The fact that Beijing was awarded the Olympic games is appalling to me in light of this and other human rights violations that seem common place there

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