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Tiananmen’s Most Wanted—Where Are They Now?

May 26, 2004

Compiled by Stacy Mosher

Activist Then Now
Wang Dan A history student at Peking University, and an organizer of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation, Wang was arrested on July 2, 1989, and on January 26, 1991, was sentenced to 4 years in prison on charges of counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement. Released on parole on February 17, 1993, Wang was detained again on May 21, 1995, after participating in petitions calling for release of all prisoners arrested in connection with June 4th.On October 30, 1996, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for subversion. On April 18, 1998, Wang was freed on medical parole and sent into exile to the United States. He is now completing his Ph.D. studies in history at Harvard University. He is an honorary member of HRIC’s board of directors.
Wuer Kaixi A Uyghur student leader from Beijing Normal University, Wuer Kaixi evaded arrest and escaped to the West by way of Hong Kong. Wuer Kaixi studied at Harvard, then at Dominican College in San Rafael, California, before moving to Taiwan, where he is now the host of a radio talk show.
Liu Gang A graduate in physics at Peking University, Liu worked at The Beijing Social and Economic Sciences Research Institute in late 1988, and was a close associate of Fang Lizhi. He was arrested in Baoding, Hebei Province on June 19, 1989 while trying to buy a railway ticket, and was sentenced to six years in prison for counterrevolutionary crimes. He was incarcerated at Liaoning Province’s notorious Lingyuan Prison, where he suffered horrific physical abuse. Following his release in 1995, Liu fled China via Hong Kong in May 1996, saying that he and his family had been subjected to official harassment. After completing his studies at New York's Columbia University, Liu went to work in the computer industry.
Chai Ling A graduate student in child psychology at Beijing Normal University, Chai Ling was commander-in-chief of the protesters at Tiananmen Square. She escaped to the West through Hong Kong in April 1990. After receiving an honorary Masters degree from Princeton University, and completing an M.B.A. at
Harvard University, Chai Ling launched an Internet-related company with her American husband.
Zhou Fengsuo A physics student at Tsinghua University, Zhou was a member of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. He was arrested in Xi'an on June 13, 1989 through information supplied by his elder sister and brother-in-law, and was imprisoned for one year. Zhou was one of 97 political prisoners released on June 6, 1990 as a result of international pressure. He left China for the U.S. and is now a financial analyst in San Francisco, but continues to participate in activities relating to China’s human rights.
Zhai Weimin A student at the Beijing Institute of Economics, Zhai managed to evade arrest for nearly a year, but was detained in May 1990 after preparing to mark the first anniversary of June 4th. In February 1992 he was sentenced to four years in prison for counterrevolutionary incitement. Following his release on September 13, 1993, Zhai was detained again in March 1994.On May 26, 1994 Zhai joined Wang Dan, Li Hai and others in petitioning the National People's Congress for a reassessment of June 4th. On May 25, 1995 police detained Zhai again, but later released him into the custody of family members. On October 24, 1998, Zhai was listed as a member of the Henan branch of the China Democracy Party when that organization applied for legal registration. In December 1998 Zhai was detained briefly as one of 19 dissidents who launched a hunger strike to demand the release of detained CDP members Xu Wenli,Wang Youcai, and Qin Yongmin.
Liang Qingtun A student at Beijing Normal University. Liang escaped to the West and now lives in San Francisco.
Wang Zhengyun A student of the Central University for Nationalities, Wang was at that time the only member of his Kucong ethnic minority group to study at a university. Wang was detained in Yunnan in July 1989. Following his release in June 1990, Wang was forced to give up his studies and was sent back to his home village in the Yunnan countryside, where he lived in considerable hardship. In December 1998 Wang was one of 19 dissidents, including Zhai Weimin, who staged a hunger strike to protest the oppression of CDP members and other dissidents.
Zheng Xuguang A student at the Beihang University, Zheng was tried with Zhang Ming in November 1990, and in January 1991 was sentenced to two years in prison. Zheng was released in July 1991 and went into business in Beijing. He was arrested again on November 27, 1993, after forming a Peace Charter with Ma Shaohua, Qin Yongmin, Yang Zhou and Zhou Guoqiang. He was released on February 2, 1994, after three months in detention without charge. On May 26, 1994, Zheng accompanied Wang Dan, Ma Shaofang, Zhai Weimin, Shao Jiang and Li Hai in petitioning the National People’s Congress for a reassessment of June 4th. Zheng and his wife, Gao Min, have been detained and harassed a number of times since then.
Ma Shaofang A student at the Beijing Film Academy, Ma was arrested in Guangzhou on June 13, 1989, and in October 1990 was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of counterrevolutionary incitement. Following his release in June 1992, friends helped Ma find employment in Beijing, but in April 1993 he was harassed by Public Security police and forced to return to his home in Jiangsu. In May 1994 he participated with Wang Dan and other dissidents in a petition to the National People’s Congress calling for a reassessment of June 4th. Sporadically employed since then, Ma is currently living in Shenzhen.
Yang Tao A student of history at Peking University and head of the university’s Autonomous Student Union, Yang was arrested in Lanzhou, Gansu Province on June 16, 1989, and was imprisoned for one year on charges of inciting counterrevolutionary rebellion. Following his release in September 1990, Yang was banished to his hometown of Fuzhou and barred from future study. He went to work at a private company in Guangzhou and began trading in second-hand computers. He was detained on May 5, 1999, and formally arrested on May 19 on charges of subversion in relation to his participation in Wang Dan’s petition commemorating the tenth anniversary of June 4th. However, due to lack of evidence he was indicted on amended charges of tax evasion on December 23, and on January 5, 2003 was sentenced to four years in prison. He was released in May 2003.
Feng Congde A student at Peking University. Feng escaped to the West on April 3, 1990, and now lives in Paris, where he operates the “64 Memo” Web site.
Zhang Boli A student at Peking University, Zhang fled to Russia on December 15, 1989, but was repatriated to China. He went into hiding for two years in Heilongjiang Province, during which time he converted to Christianity. Zhang escaped to the West through Hong Kong in June 1991, and is now a pastor in Washington, D.C.
Wang Chaohua A graduate student at the Chinese Institute of Social Sciences. Wang escaped to the West in June 1991.After moving to Los Angeles, she studied Chinese literature at UCLA. She is now a freelance writer.
Wang Youcai A student in physics at Peking University, Wang was general secretary of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. He was arrested on August 19, 1989, in Wenzhou City, Zhejiang Province, and in December 1990 was sentenced to four years in prison. After he appealed to the Supreme Court his sentenced was reduced to three years, and he was released on probation in November 1991. Following his release, Wang worked as a physicist, but continued participating in political petitions. In June 1998 he and two others attempted to register the Zhejiang branch of the China Democracy Party. Wang was arrested on July 10, 1998, and was charged with incitement to subvert state power on August 7. He was released but then detained again on November 30, 1998, and on December 21, 1998, was sentenced to 11 years in prison. Wang was released into exile in the U.S. on March 4, 2004. He now lives in Rhode Island.
Li Lu A student of semiconductor physics and economics at Nanjing University. Li Lu was smuggled out of China through Hong Kong. After obtaining degrees in business and law at Columbia University, Li Lu now operates a hedge fund in New York. He is on the board of directors of HRIC.
Zhang Ming A student of automotive engineering at Tsinghua University, Zhang Ming was imprisoned for three years on charges of counterrevolutionary incitement. After his release, Zhang Ming established a successful business in Shanghai. But on September 9, 2002, he was arrested again and on October 16, 2002, was charged with abuse of executive benefits. He was sentenced to seven years in prison on September 9, 2003, and is reported to be suffering severe physical abuse.
Xiong Wei A student in electronics at Tsinghua University, and the son of a senior Party cadre, Xiong surrendered in the company of his mother in Liaoning on June 14, 1989, and in June 1990 was released without having been formally charged. Xiong is now engaged in private business.
Xiong Yan A graduate student in law at Peking University, Xiong Yan was the leading member of the Students’ Dialogue Group. He was arrested on June 15, 1989, and detained without due process for about two years before being released on January 26, 1991. In June 1992 Xiong fled to the U.S., and after studying for a doctorate in theology in Boston, he became a chaplain in the U.S. armed forces. He remains active in the overseas democracy movement.
Zhang Zhiqing A student at Zhengfa University, Zhang was arrested in January 1991. Zhang was released, but nothing further is known regarding his subsequent situation.
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