Tiananmen leader sent back to jail

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 September, 1995, 12:00am

DISSIDENT Liu Gang has been put back in jail for 15 days - two months after finishing a six-year sentence for 'subversion', a human rights group said yesterday.


Liu, a leading light in the student pro-democracy movement in 1989, was sent back to prison on Friday after the authorities gave a final verdict on a lawsuit he filed last month against local police officers.


He had attempted to sue the police for forcing him to make 'weekly thought reports' after his release.


When Liu was freed on June 18 after serving his six-year sentence, police from his home town, Longshan District of Liaoyuan City in Liaoning province, imposed a 13-point code of conduct on him, requiring the activist to report to them every week.


But Liu sued the police, claiming the demands broke the law. He also complained that police officers had constantly harassed both him and his family since his release.


In retaliation, the police imposed a 15-day administrative sentence on the 35-year-old for his refusal to follow the order.


Liu Qing, chairman of the New York-based Human Rights in China, said the code of conduct imposed on the dissident infringed his rights.


'Freedom of thought is the most fundamental human right. Everyone has a natural privilege not to reveal one's own thoughts,' a statement said. 'To force one to make a revelation is a contemptible act. If a revelation is made, it must be a lie only,' he was quoted as saying yesterday.


He urged foreign governments to press for Liu's immediate release.


According to the rights group, the final verdict was given last Friday. Police went to Liu's home with a large, fully equipped film crew to record the whole event as they delivered the verdict, it said.


Liu's father, Liu Guichun, has been hard hit by the verdict. And he said his wife, who has faced a great deal of stress in the last two months, had fallen ill after the latest intrusion by the police.


'I feel very desperate and there seems to be no way out. I can't see when this kind of persecution will end,' the elderly Mr Liu was quoted saying.


Nine days ago, he quit the Communist Party and vowed to sue security officers for failing to punish policemen who allegedly attacked, robbed and harassed his family.


The activist incurred the ire of the authorities because of his defiant attitude when he was in jail. Despite his imprisonment, Liu managed to smuggle letters out of the prison, documenting the inhuman treatment of fellow inmates.


Liu was sent to jail six years ago for taking a leading role in the 1989 student-led democracy movement in Beijing.