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Ex-student leader held for move on June 4 crackdown

A staff reporter

Sunday, May 23, 1999

Ex-student leader held for

move on June 4 crackdown

a staff reporter

POLICE in Guangzhou have formally arrested Yang Tao, a former student

leader at the Tiananmen protests 10 years ago, after he planned to

commemorate the 10th anniversary of the June 4 crackdown, a Hong

Kong-based rights group said.

Yang's arrest is one of the latest moves in rounding up dissidents in

the run up to the sensitive anniversary.

Yang, 29, one of the 21 student leaders wanted by the authorities

right after the June 4 crackdown in 1989, was formally placed under

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arrest on Wednesday, two weeks after being detained for questioning,

by police in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, the Information

Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.

In the mainland's judiciary practice, the announcement of "formal

arrest" of a suspect meant he would soon be brought to the court

facing criminal charges.

Yang joined the campaign launched by best-known Tiananmen student

leader Wang Dan to recruit signatures of Chinese all over the world

demanding Beijing's rehabilitation of the pro-democracy demonstrations

10 years ago.

He took the responsibility of collecting signatures on the mainland,

the centre.

Yang's family was informed of his arrest but it was not clear on what

charges he was arrested as the authorities were yet to deliver a

formal notice.

Yang figured in 11th place on the wanted list of 21 student leaders

issued following the Tiananmen crackdown on June 4 1989.

He served a one-year prison sentence for "instigating a

counter-revolutionary rebellion", the official term given to

pro-democracy demonstrations.

Despite police anxiety, 50 dissidents in Hangzhou in eastern China on

Wednesday made an official demand to be allowed to commemorate the

10th anniversary of the crackdown.

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END


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