Compiled by Sun Liyong
Support Network for the Persecuted in China
May 5, 2009
It has been 20 years since June Fourth, but there are still eight so-called “thugs” who are still being held. They are Zhu Gengsheng (朱更生), Li Yujun (李玉君), Chang Jingqiang (常景强), Yang Pu (杨璞), Jiang Yaqun (姜亚群), Miao Deshun (苗德顺), Shi Xuezhi (石学之), and Song Kai (宋凯).
1. Zhu Gengsheng (朱更生): Male, around 45 years old. After June Fourth, he was sentenced to the death penalty under the charge of “counterrevolutionary arson” with a two-year suspension and a life-long deprivation of political rights. In Zhu Gengsheng's trial of the first hearing, he was sentenced to death; the second hearing affirmed the original sentence. The Supreme People's Court amended the sentence to a stay of execution during its review of the sentence. In the video of the "riot" of June Third broadcast by CCTV after June Fourth, there was a tank was burning on Tiananmen Square. A young man stood on the tank, brandishing a flag, yelling, "We won!" That was Mr. Zhu Gengsheng.
Zhu Gensheng's father had been a secretary during the Republic of China, before the Communist Revolution. He died during the Cultural Revolution, persecuted to death. Zhu's mother raised him and his two sisters on her own. His eldest sister works at the pharmacy in Beijing Tongren Hospital. In 2006, Zhu Gengsheng's sisters wheeled his octogenarian mother in to visit him. Zhu's mother told him that she may not be able to again visit him and that she was looking forward to seeing him return home soon. His sisters then went in to visit Zhu in turn.
Zhu is not married. Presently he is serving his sentence at Beijing No. 2 Prison. He has over five years remaining in his sentence.
2. Li Yujun (李玉君): Male, around 45 years old. After June Fourth, Li was convicted of "arson" and sentenced to death with a two year suspension, along with a life-long deprivation of his political rights. The cause of the sentence was a burned military vehicle in around Hongmiao, Chaoyang District, Beijing.
Li Yujun's father was a worker at Beijing Cotton Factory No. 3. His mother died in 1989, and his father remarried. Since his arrest and sentence, Li's father has not been to see him. Li Yujun has three brothers. The eldest was amongst the first to graduate high school following the Cultural Revolution; he settled down in the countryside outside Harbin, Heilongjiang, and does not have the means to go see his brother. The second work in a factory in Balizhuang, on the outskirts of Beijing. He occasionally visits Li with his wife, bringing a bit of pocket money for Li. The third works in an auto repair shop in Huayuan Village, also in the outskirts of Beijing; he generally does not worry about Li. The primary source of Li Yujun’s living expenses are laundry fees, dishwashing soap, toothpaste, and soap to wash his towels; he gets a 5-yuan subsidy from the prison each month.
Li Yujun is unmarried. Presently Li is serving his sentence at Beijing No. 2 Prison. He has over five years remaining in his sentence.
Regarding Zhu Gengsheng and Li Yujun sentences: In 1991, they both received a stay of execution. In 1993, their sentences were reduced to life imprisonment (the sentence went into effect in 1994, after the written judgment came into their possession). In 1996, documentation for Zhu and Li on reducing their life sentence to a fixed term was sent by the prison squadron to the Policy Department of the Beijing No. 2 Prison. By 1997, one year later, they still had not received a reply, so they inquired with a squadron leader. A few days later, the leader of the squadron, Liu Fuli, sent them a reply: we’ve already submitted the data; in fact, it was lost by the prison, the supervision bureau, or the court. We can’t investigate what happened, so you're out of luck. We can do nothing but re-apply. Normally when people take these measures to reduce their sentence, the process take two years. For Zhu and Li, it took them three years. In 1998, they finally received the amended sentence: a fixed term of twenty years.
3. Chang Jingqiang (常景强): Male, 40 (born 1969). After June Fourth, he was sentenced to life and deprived of his political rights on charges of “counterrevolutionary injuries” for “beating an armed police officer in the entrance of People's Hospital.”
Chang Jingqiang is an only child. His father was a furnace worker at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and is in constant anger and stress over his son. In 2000, Chang’s father suffered a cerebral blood clot. He was unable to care for himself after that, so Chang’s mother watched over him. In 2005, his mother died, and his father soon followed. Before Chang was arrested, he lived together with his parents in a brick hutong in Xicheng District, Beijing and later in housing provided by Chang's father's employer in Zhongguan Village, Beijing. In 1998, Zhongguan Village was torn down, and Chang's parents were relocated to Doudian Town in Fangshan District, Beijing. Before he died, Chang's father gave his home and the surplus relocation funds (between 100,000 - 200,000 yuan) to his nephew, entrusting his nephew to give it to Chang Jingqiang [upon Chang's release]. However, Chang's cousin has not been in contact with him since Chang's father died, so he does not know what became of the house and funds.
Presently Chang Jingqiang is serving his sentence in squadron 5 of Beijing No. 2 Prison. He has around two years remaining in his sentence.
4. Yang Pu (杨璞): Male, around 45. After June Fourth, Yang was convicted of "arson" and sentenced to death with a two-year suspension; he was also deprived of political rights for life.
On November 26, 1990, he was transferred from Beijing Prison No. 1 to Beijing Prison No. 2. In 1993, Yang was diagnosed with tuberculosis in both of his leg bones, and he required a cane in order to walk. He was sent to Binhe Hospital for treatment. In 1994, he was transferred to the patient ward of Chadian Prison. Later he was transferred to Yanqing Prison. Due to his illness, Yang was unable to perform manual labor, therefore he was unable to reduce his sentence.
Presently Yang is serving his sentence in Yanqing Prison. He has two to three years remaining in his sentence.
5. Jiang Yaqun (姜亚群): Male, around 70. After June Fourth, Jiang was convicted of "arson" and sentenced to death with a two-year suspension; he was deprived of his political rights for life. In 1993, he was transferred from Beijing No. 1 Prison to Beijing No. 2 Prison. He is unmarried and has no living relatives. Presently Jiang Yaqun is serving his sentence at Yanqing Prison. He has around five years remaining in his sentence.
6. Miao Deshun (苗德顺): Male, around 45. After June Fourth, Miao was convicted of “arson” and sentenced to death with a two-year suspension. He was also deprived of his political rights for life. Before his arrest, he resided in the Wukesong area and was unmarried.
In April, 1990, while serving his sentence at Beijing No. 1 Prison, he was found to have toxic hepatitis. (At the same time, there were four others in Beijing No. 1 Prison who were in the same cell who also had toxic hepatitis including Gao Hongwei, Yu Wen, and Yang Guanghui; they were all considered to be so-called “thugs.”) At the end of 1993, he was transferred from Beijing No. 1 Prison to Beijing No. 2 Prison and was labeled as an anti-reform troublemaker since he did not confess to his crime. In 1992, his death sentence was commuted to life sentence. Under normal circumstances, it can be reduced to a fixed term sentence in two or three years but he had to wait five because he refused to confess to his crimes. In 1997, his life sentence was commuted to 20 years.
Miao is quite stubborn and in order to not create difficulties to his family, he would not see his parents when they visited him in prison in 1997 and later his family stopped visiting. Because of his refusal to change and participate in labor reform, he was beaten with electric batons by prison officers. The most severe incidence was when four prison captains were electrocuting him with electric batons but the prison captains did not hear him beg for mercy.
During his time in prison, Miao, Shi Xueshi, and Liu Quan (50 years old, sentenced to 15 years after being convicted of being a “thug,” released in 2006, and still has a dent on his head from being smashed on the head with a gunstock by the martial law enforcers) were regarded as the most tenacious prisoners in the facility.
Presently Miao is serving his sentence at Yanqing Prison. He has over eight years remaining in his sentence.
7. Shi Xuezhi (石学之): Male, around 70 years old. After June Fourth, he was convicted of “arson” and was sentenced to life, and life-long deprivation of political rights for life. In December 1990, was transferred from Beijing No. 1 Prison to Beijing No. 2 Prison. His life sentence was commuted to 16 years and 6 months’ imprisonment in April 1993.
What should be mentioned is this: In the summer of 1991, the squadron Shi Xuezhi belonged to (squadron seven) received an order from Beijing Huateng Rubber&Plastic Latex Products Co to make latex gloves for export to the United States. Shi Xuezhi wrote many notes in English and Chinese and put them inside the gloves. He wrote messages such as, “Long live free democracy,” “freedom will save China,” “good Samaritan, please notify participants in the overseas democratic movement to save us.”
When this was discovered, Shi was put handcuffed, chained, and placed in solitary confinement; his hands and feet were all cuffed together as he sat in the empty room. Shi Xuezhi, who was over 50 years old at the time, also received beatings; he was stepped on by three or four police while five other police beat him with electric batons. Each beating lasted for over half an hour and targeted at his groin, armpits, neck, and face. The electrocution was so severe that his pubic hair was burnt off. Shi never begged for mercy from the officers, not even once. Under the intense pain, Shi Xuezhi only groaned “ahh!” a few times, an automatic, involuntary reaction.
During the more than three months in confinement, Shi Xuezhi was taken back to middle unit frequently and beaten with electric batons. The prison officers referenced Shi’s treatment to threaten the other troublemaking prisoners. Because of Shi’s old age, he was transferred from Beijing No. 2 Prison to Yanqing Prison in 1998. He is currently serving his sentence there and should be released at the end of 2009.
8. Song Kai (宋凯): Male, around 50 years old. After June Fourth, he was convicted of “counterrevolutionary injuries” and was sentenced to life with life-long deprivation of political rights.
On June Fourth, in front of Peking University People’s Hospital, Zhang Baosheng (15 at the time, sentenced to 10 years), Chang Jingqiang, Song Kai, and many other Beijing residents intercepted an Army ambulance. They pulled a soldier (Wang Yuwen, who at the time was given the title “Bodyguard of the Republic”) from the vehicle and the crowd proceeded to beat him. Song Kai put a water bucket over Wang Yuwen’s head so that they would not beat the soldier’s face.
After being arrested, Song Kai was violently beaten by a few dozen martial law officers at Fengsheng Police Station and had his back broken which rendered him disabled for life and could only walk while hunched over. In 1992, his family spent a deal of money to make a case for his parole, but they did not succeed. Before his arrest, Song Kai lived in Zhuanta hutong, Xicheng District, Beijing. He was divorced soon after his arrest.
At the end of 1993, Song Kai was transferred from Beijing No. 1 Prison to Beijing No. 2 Prison and was relocated to Yanqing Prison in 1998. Presently Song is serving his sentence at Yanqing Prison. He has one to two years remaining in his sentence.
Support Network for the Persecuted in China
May 5, 2009