Police sweep activists out of capital

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The Independent Online


For Harry Wu, the impending Fourth World Conference on Women has brought freedom. But for other Chinese activists, it has meant detention by the public security apparatus.

The authorities are determined to ensure most Peking dissidents are out of the city or in custody during the high-profile conference. Ding Zilin and her husband, Jiang Peikun, professors at the People's University in Peking, were escorted by police from their hometown of Wuxi, near Shanghai, a week ago. Professor Ding, whose only son was killed in the June 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, has collated a list of those who died in the massacre and has lobbied for the government to revise its "verdict" on the pro- democracy movement.

Tong Zeng, the activist who has campaigned for compensation from Japan for China's Second World War victims, has also been ordered to leave Peking. So far he has refused. Most of Peking's other well-known dissidents have been in detention since before this year's 4 June anniversary.

China has also continued to bar unwanted participants. With only four days to go before the Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Forum opens on Wednesday, China expelled two Hong Kong journalists for allegedly spying on military manoeuvres in Fujian province, off the coast of Taiwan. Qu Yingyan and Xie Mingzhuang worked for Next magazine, a Hong Kong publication which has sharply criticised China.