Chinese Student Who Addressed Rally Arrested
BEIJING (AP) _ A Beijing University student who gave a speech marking the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown has been arrested, sources at the school said today.
Meanwhile, in London exiled Chinese dissident Fang Lizhi was quoted as saying that if the present Beijing leadership is still in power when Hong Kong reverts to Chinese rule, all democratic rights there will be removed.
The sources said the arrest of Li Minqi, a 21-year-old economic management major, was announced at a teachers’ meeting. Li was expelled from the school in early June and fellow students said he disappeared almost immediately.
University and police officials have said they do not know if Li was arrested.
Li was the only student to give a speech during a spontaneous rally on campus on the night of June 3. The rally marked the one-year anniversary of the army attack on student-led, pro-democracy protesters in Beijing in which hundreds and possibly thousands of people died.
In his speech, Li called on the Communist Party to return the land to the peasants and the factories to the workers. He also demanded greater respect for intellectuals.
He was the fourth Beijing University student arrested in the past two months. The other three, arrested in late May, were accused of having links to an underground group that allegedly distributed pamphlets on campus.
Dozens of other students from various Beijing schools arrested shortly after the crackdown have been released. Most, however, have been expelled from their schools.
Thousands of people from all walks of life were arrested nationwide after the crackdown, and the government has refused to say how many have been sentenced or how many remain jailed without trial.
In an interview published today in the London newspaper, The Independent, Fang said his friends in Hong Kong were afraid there is no guarantee of democracy after 1997, when Britain’s lease on the colony expires.
″If the same people are still in power in Beijing then, there is no doubt that they will remove all democratic rights in Hong Kong, whatever their promises now,″ said Fang, an astrophysicist.
Fang, 54, and his wife, Li Shuxian, flew to Britain aboard a U.S. Air Force transport jet from Beijing on June 25. They had lived in the U.S. Embassy since they took refuge there during the crackdown on the pro-democracy movement.