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China Dissident Arrested in Roundup

March 3, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ Police arrested a dissident today who had petitioned China’s legislature for political reforms and a crackdown on corruption, a human rights group said.

Shen Liangqing’s arrest brings to three the number of dissidents formally charged in a roundup of activists petitioning the National People’s Congress, which opens its 1989 session Thursday.

The congress is seen as a body trying to promote the rule of law and often draws dissident petitions, despite police harassment and arrest.

Police in the eastern city of Hefei notified Shen’s family that he was arrested today, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.

Shen, a former employee in the provincial prosecutor’s office, disappeared last week. His family was not told what he was charged with, where he was being held or other details of his case, the group said, citing an unidentified family member.

His petition asked for a cleanup of corruption, protection of citizens’ rights, a role for dissidents in the legislature and an investigation into the 1989 crackdown on democracy campaigners.

Also today, the human rights group said police detained two other dissidents who called for a reappraisal of the crushed 1989 democracy movement.

In the western city of Xian, police took away Zheng Baohe on Monday night and fellow dissident Zhang Jiankang early today, the Information Center said.

The two, along with seven others, had also called on the legislature to absolve Zhao Ziyang, the Communist Party chief ousted in a power struggle over the 1989 crackdown.

Other dissidents arrested for petitioning the congress in the past week are Yang Qinheng of Shanghai and Ma Lianggang of the eastern province of Anhui, according to the Information Center.

Update hourly