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Letter to President Clinton

June 21, 1998

Human Rights in China sends letter to President Clinton urging him to do three things during his upcoming visit to the People's Republic of China: 1) To publicly express his condemnation of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre and his support for the Chinese human rights and democracy movement; 2) To press the Chinese government to release all political prisoners, including those Beijing citizens who are believed to be serving lengthy sentences for their activities during the violent crackdown of 1989 (a list of 158 such individuals is enclosed) as well as Li Hai, who is serving a nine year sentence for collecting the names of victims of the massacre and subsequent crackdown; 3) To integrate China into the international community by pressing China to recognize international human rights standards, to sign international convenants, and to accept international scrutiny of its human rights practices.

June 19, 1998

President William J. Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500-0001

Dear President Clinton,

The upcoming presidential summit in Beijing offers an important occasion for your administration to demonstrate that human rights are a core element of your policy of engagement with the People's Republic of China. Human Rights in China urges you to take this opportunity to send a clear message to the international community, including the Chinese people, and to seek to achieve concrete progress in the field of human rights. We applauded your statement during Chinese President Jiang Zemin's fall 1997 visit to the United States that China was "on the wrong side of history" with regard to the 1989 Democracy Movement. During your visit to China, we hope you reiterate publicly your condemnation for the brutal suppression of those peaceful protests and call on the Chinese government to release all those detained with them immediately, as this would be a meaningful first step on the path of increased respect for human rights and tolerance.

Nine years after the Beijing massacre and subsequent repression across China, hundreds of Chinese citizens remain in prison for participating in the protests. We have the names of 158 individuals for the city of Beijing alone, most of whom are ordinary people whose names are unknown to the international community. Over 50 of these are held in one facility, Beijing No. 2 Prison, and are serving sentences of 15 years to life. Their only crime consisted in standing up for democracy and respect for human rights. Yet, in the official propaganda, these people were labeled "rioters," and were charged with "hooliganism," "disturbing social order" and other criminal offenses.

We would not even know of most of these prisoners if it were not for the work of Beijing philosophy student Li Hai, who went door to door speaking to their families to find information about them. For compiling this list and making it public, Li Hai was arrested in 1995. Tried in 1996, he was found guilty of "prying into and gathering" "state secrets," and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment.

Mr. President, we urge you to present the attached list to President Jiang Zemin and to actively seek the release of all the prisoners on the list, of Li Hai and of the thousands of other political and religious detainees in the PRC.

Improving China's human rights practices requires extensive systemic reforms. Many activists, scholars and even government officials have been pressing for such reforms constantly for the past two decades. We believe that the U.S.-China summit provides an opportunity for the United States to show that it stands with those in China who are advocating these much-needed reforms. It is therefore essential that, while in Beijing, you remind the Chinese government of its pledge to sign and ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. China's ratification of the ICCPR would provide important opportunities for international and domestic scrutiny of the PRC's human rights record, as well as for human rights activists and other reform-minded citizens to hold their government accountable to human rights.

Finally, we respectfully refer you to an attached list of the 158 individuals mentioned above, a short biography of Li Hai and a translation of a letter written to you by Li Hai's mother, Gong Liwen. Promoting greater respect for human rights in the PRC is crucial for China's future stability and development; it is also crucial for healthy relations between the United States and China. We sincerely hope that your trip will bring positive changes in this regard.


Liu Qing

Xiao Qiang
Executive Director




Nine years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre and subsequent crackdown, hundreds remain in prison for their role in the 1989 protests. The list below contains the names of 158 individuals from Beijing alone who are serving lengthy prison sentences for their participation in the 1989 pro-democracy movement.

This information was primarily compiled by Li Hai, 44, a former Beijing student who was arrested in 1995 for making the list public. He was subsequently sentenced to a nine-year prison term for "prying into and gathering" "state secrets."

The individuals listed below include a wide variety of Beijing residents--from peasants, security guards and factory workers to engineers and cadres in the State Planning Commission. At the time of their arrest, they ranged in age from 17 to 71. In the official propaganda, these demonstrators were called "rioters," and were charged with "arson," "hooliganism," "disturbing social order," and other criminal offenses. For the most part they are people who were seen on television screens around the world in May 1989, marching in the streets, blocking the path of the troops entering the city with improvised barricades, running through the streets on the night of June 3-4, and throwing rocks and paving stones at tanks and armed personnel carriers. Many are thought to have been detained merely because they were out on the streets. In general, these people were brought to trial more quickly and received more severe sentences than did the prominent students and intellectuals who were arrested. The average sentence of those not given life terms is approximately thirteen years.

Li Hai, the persons on this list, and the many other "nameless" individuals jailed throughout China in connection with the 1989 crackdown might not be as internationally well-known as some dissidents, but their lives and liberty are equally significant.

Human Rights in China submits the following list to President Clinton for presentation to the Chinese government during his visit to Beijing.

Human Rights in China urges the Chinese government to demonstrate its commitment to making genuine improvements in the human rights situation by releasing all of the prisoners on this list, as well as the thousands of other political and religious detainees throughout China.



List of Beijing Citizens Still in Prison
in Connection with 1989 Tiananmen Square Crackdown

Beijing No.2 Prison
Name, Age - Sentence, Charge (see key below for charge name)

Cao Yingyuan, 40 - 10 years, #6
Chang Jingqiang - 25, Life, #4, 5
Chang Yongjie, 31 - Susp. death #4, 6, 9
Chen Dongxiang, 57 - 14 years #3
Chen Qiulong, 38 - 13 years, #3
Chen Yanbin, 23 - 15 years, #7
Guan Jian, 46 - 20 years, #3
Han Gang, 27 - 12 years, #6
Hu Zhongxi - 10 years, #2
Jiang Yaqun, 54 - Susp. death #4, 4A
Li Yujun, 29 - Life #4
Li Zhixin, 37 - Life #4, 4A
Lu Jinsheng, 30 - 15 years, #4A
Miao Deshun - Susp. death #1
Shen Licheng, 43 - 13 years, #3
Shi Xuezhi, 53 - 16 years, #4A
Song Kai, 40 - Life #5
Sun Chuanheng, 22 - Life #4A
Sun Hong, 22 - Susp. death #4A
Tan Diaoqiang, 42 - 15 years, #3
Tang Yong, 23 - 10 years, #6
Wang, 42 - 15 years, #3
Wang Baoyu - Susp. death
Wang Dongfeng, 40 - 10 years, #4A, 6
Wang Jiaxiang, 76 - Life #4
Wu Chunqi, 42 - Life #4, 4A
Zhang Baosheng, 22 - 13 years, #5, 6
Zhang Peiwen, 55 - 10 years,
Zhao Suoran, 30 - Life #4
Zhu Gengsheng, 31 - Susp. death #4, 4A, 6

Beijing No.2 Prison, No. 9 Team
Name, Age, Occupation - Sentence, Charge (see key below for charge name)

Bai Fengying, 34, worker - 15 years, #9
Chai Jun, 26 - 14 years, #4a
Chen Yang, 27, worker - 15 years, #9, #10
Deng Wanyu, 34 - 15 years, #4
Dong Shengkun, 37, cadre in Beijing No. 2 Print Works - Susp. death, #4
Du Jianwen, 28, worker - 17 years, #9, #10
Duan Zhijun, 43, worker - 11 years, #4
Feng Lisheng, 33 - Life, #11
Gao Hongwei, 28 - Life, #4
Gao Liang, 27, worker - Life, #4
Gao Zhenhe, 23 - 20 years, #9, #10
Gong Chuanchang, 25 - 15 years, #9
Guo Zhenbo, 30, worker - 13 years, #9, #10
Hao Fuchun, 61 - 15 years, #9
Hua Siyu, 27, cadre - 13 years, #9, #10
Huang Xuekun, 28 - 12 years, #9, #10
Huo Liansheng, 29 - 12 years, #11
Jia Majie, 27, cadre - 13 years, #4
Jiang Sheng, 31, worker - 15 years, #9, #5
Li Changzhan, 34, worker - 13 years, #4
Li Fuquan, 35 - 15 years, #4
Li Hongqi, 31, worker - 20 years, #11, #9, #10
Li Tao, 26, worker - 11 years, #9, #10
Li Zengliang, 27 - 13 years, #10
Lian Zhenguo, 30 - 13 years, #9
Liang Yingchun, 38, worker - 12 years, #4
Liang Yunqing, 27, worker - 14 years, #9, #10
Liang Zhaohui, 26, worker - 13 years, #4
Liang Zhenyun, 32, auto-mechanic - 12 years, #11
Liang Zhixiang, 25, worker - 10.5 years, #4
Liu Changqing, 34 - 15 years, #4
Liu Chunlong, 26 - 12 years, #4
Liu Huaidong, 31, cadre - 13 years, #10
Liu Jianwen, 29, worker - 20 years, #11, #10
Liu Kunlun, 43, cadre - 13 years, #4
Liu Quan, 44 - 15 years, #4, #13
Liu Xu, 28, worker - 15 years, #4
Liu Zhenting, 36, worker in Beijing No. 2 auto plant - 17 years, #4, #9
Lu Xiaojun, 36, worker - 13 years, #9, #10
Ma Guochun, 35 - 11 years, #9, #10
Ma Lianxi, 44 - 15 years, #11
Ma Shimin, 26 - 11 years, #4
Meng Fanjun, 29, worker - 13 years, #11
Mi Yuping, 39, worker - 13 years, #4
Niu Shuliang, 26, worker - 12 years, #4
Niu Zhanping, 43, worker - 12 years, #4, #12
Peng Xingguo, 41 - 15 years, #4
Qiao Hongqi, 38, worker - 12 years, #11
Shan Hui, 28, worker - 14 years, #9
Shi Xuezhi, 58 - Life, #4
Song Shihui, 24, worker - 11 years, #9, #10
Su Gang, 28, teacher - 15 years, #4
Sun Chuanheng, 28 - Life, reduced to 20 years, #2
Sun Hong, 27, worker - Susp. death, #4
Sun Yancai, 32 - Life, #9
Sun Yanru, 27 - 13 years, #9
Sun Zhengang, 33, worker - 14 years, #4
Wang Jian, 30, worker - 13 years, #9
Wang Lianhui, 31 - Life, #9
Wang Lianxi, 43, worker - Life, #4
Wang Xian, 30, worker - Life, #4
Wang Yonglu, 30, worker - 11 years, #11
Wang Yueming, 32 - 13 years, #4
Wang Chunmo, 34 - 11 years, #9
Wang Dongming, 37, worker - 13 years, #4
Wu Ruijiang, 28, cadre - 13 years, #9, #10
Xi Haoliang, 27, worker - Susp. death, #4, #5
Xu Ning, 26, worker - 12 years (reduced by 2 years), #4
Yan Jianxin, 30, worker - 11 years, #9, #10
Yang Guanghui, 25 - 12 years, #4
Yang Jianhua, 38, worker - 14 years, #9, #12
Yang Pu, 34 - Susp. death, #4
Yang Yupu, 33 - 15 years, #4
Yu Wen, 29, worker - 12 years, #10
Zhang Baojun, 27 - 13 years, #4, #9
Zhang Baoku, 29, worker - 12 years, #4
Zhang Baoqun, 32 - Life, #4
Zhang Fukun, 39 - Life, #4
Zhang Guodong, 27 - Life, #4
Zhang Kun, 28, worker - 11 years, #4
Zhang Maosheng, 30 - Susp. death, #4
Zhang Qijie, 32, worker - Susp. death, #9, #10, concealing a weapon
Zhang Qun, 27, worker - Life, #4
Zhang Shengbo, 28, cadre - 14 years, #9
Zhang Yansheng, 30 - Life, #9
Zhao Qing, 28, worker - 18 years, #4, #9
Zhao Yushuo, 37 - 14 years, #9
Zheng Yansheng, 45, worker - 11 years, #4
Zhu Wenyi, 37, worker - Susp. death, #4

Qinghe Farm, No.3 Branch
Name, Age - Sentence, Charge (see key below for charge name)

Chen Baohua, 19 - 10 years, #10
Dong Jianjun, 20 - 9 years, #10
Feng Xuyin, 25 - 9 years, #11
Huo Yanfeng, 16 - 10 years, #4A
Li Lijing, 20 - 10 years, #11
Li Ruijun, 27 - 9 years, #11
Li Shengli, 21 - 9 years, #10
Li Yanming, 28 - 9 years, #11
Liang Aizhong, 26 - 10 years, #10
Liu Dongquan, 24 - 10 years, #4A
Liu Tianli, 21 - 10 years, #10
Lu Jingshan, 20 - 10 years, #4A, 10
Meng Fanmin, 19 - 10 years, #11
Qin Zhiyu, 18 - 10 years, #4A
Rong Yongnan, 36 - 10 years, #11
Tian Degang, 30 - 10 years, #10
Wan Baolin, 33 - 10 years, #11, 10
Wang Xianhui, 26 - 9 years, #11
Wei Guoqing, 25 - 10 years, #11
Xiao Fuge, 21 - 9 years, #10
Zhang Zhenxi, 20 - 10 years, #10

Qinghe Farm, No.8 Branch
Name – Sentence

Deng Yuanping - 9 years
Ding Ke - 9 years
Dong Shuangsuo - 10 years
Shi Guohui - 10 years
Wu Yuping - 9 years
Zhang Cailin - 10 years
Zhang Chuanyou - 10 years
Zhao Yongjiang - 9.5 years

Qinghe Farm, No.6 Branch
Name - Sentence

Chen Wei - 10 years
Cheng Hongli - 10 years*
Cheng Honglin - 10 years*
Deng Shusen - 10 years*
Li Donghui - 10 years
Li Jimin - 9 years
Zhang Fusheng - 9 years*
Zhang Liwei - 9 years
Zhao Jianxin - 10 years*
Zhao Jun - 10 years


Counterrevolutionary charges:

#1 - Defecting to the enemy and turning traitor
#2 - Participating in armed mass rebellion
#3 - Espionage
#4 - Counterrevolutionary sabotage
#4A - Counterrevolutionary arson
#5 - Counterrevolutionary injury
#6 - Counterrevolutionary propaganda and incitement
#7 - Organizing a counterrevolutionary group
#8 - Conspiring to subvert the government

Common criminal charges:

#9 - Robbery
#10 - Hooliganism
#11 - Stealing or seizing gun or ammunition
#12 - Disturbing social order
#13 - Disrupting traffic


(1) Some of the ages of prisoners in Qinghe Farm No.3 Branch are age at date of arrest.
(2) Sentences marked with an asterisk* could have been subject to reduction or supplementation.
(3) "Susp. death" means a death sentence with a two-year reprieve. This means that if the prisoner has behaved well during the two- year period, the sentence is normally commuted to life.



From Gong Liwen (mother of Li Hai)

June 5, 1998

Respected President Clinton,

As a mother, I earnestly appeal to you to give attention to my son Li Hai and the unjust treatment which he suffers.

Li Hai was born on May 2, 1954. He enrolled in Nanjing University in 1978. In 1982, he became a teacher at the Chinese Medical College in Beijing, and in 1988 he entered Beijing University as a graduate student in the department of philosophy. Because of his involvement in the 1989 demonstrations, he was detained in 1990 for seven months and expelled from the university. Once released, he was subjected to police surveillance. In 1993, Li Hai was one of the drafters of the Peace Charter, which included a call for the government to reverse its verdict on the 1989 Movement. He was consequently questioned and detained by the Public Security Bureau. Li Hai also helped the victims of the 1989 repression and their families by distributing donations sent by international human rights organizations. Although the Chinese government did not approve of these activities, Li Hai never did anything against Chinese law.

Shortly before June 4, 1995, Liu Nianchun, Wang Dan and other dissidents were detained. On May 31, Public Security Bureau officers arrested Li Hai and charged him with hooliganism. His home was searched twice, and his personal computer, some letters and checks used for donations were confiscated despite the fact that delivering humanitarian assistance is not forbidden by any law. The police charged him with "leaking state secrets" in September 1995. Their only piece of evidence was Li Hai's letter to an international human rights organization. In December 1996, the court ruled that there was not enough evidence to sustain the charge of "releasing state secrets." But because Li Hai had in his possession a list of people arrested in connection with June 4, 1989, the court convicted him of "prying into state secrets." After Li Hai denied the charge, the court gave him a heavy sentence: nine years' imprisonment.

Li Hai is being held in Beijing Liangxiang Prison. He has suffered many forms of inhumane treatment. Ordinary criminals keep him under strict surveillance and beat him up, as do the prison guards. He is not allowed to buy food or receive food that his family sends him; he is not allowed to exercise outside his prison cell and he is forced to perform labor sewing clothes, despite his severe myopia. All these abuses are seriously undermining Li Hai's health. He experiences acute pain in his liver and suffers from heart disease and high blood pressure. His condition requires urgent medical examination and treatment. Li Hai should be granted medical parole.

Since 1997 I have written many letters on my son's behalf, appealing to China's courts, procuratorate, Ministry of Justice and the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. However, I have received no reply. In 1998, I wrote to his prison and to the Ministry of Justice and asked that his detention conditions be improved. But nothing has changed. In May, I wrote to President Jiang Zemin twice to demand that my son be released or granted medical parole. There has been no response.

I know that you are coming to China in June. I hope that while you are in China, you will raise Li Hai's case with Jiang Zemin in person, and urge him to grant Li Hai medical parole in the spirit of humanitarian concern.

I thank you for your attention and wish you a successful trip to China.

Gong Liwen
Xin Yuan Nan Lu, Building 15, Apt. 202, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100027, PRC
Tel: 011-86-10-6465-2714

A short biography

Li Hai was one of the 56 signatories of the "Draw Lessons from Blood" petition in May 1995 and was one of the initiators for the 1993 "Peace Charter," a landmark document aimed at promoting nonviolent political reform in China. A graduate student in philosophy at Beijing University, Li Hai was involved in the 1989 Democracy Movement. From June to November 1990, he spent six months in prison without charge for putting up posters at Beijing University to commemorate the first anniversary of the protests. He was expelled from the University after his release. Since 1989, Li Hai has collected the names and particulars of victims of human rights abuses. He reportedly gathered the facts on 800-900 cases and documented the fate of an unprecedented variety of Beijing residents, focusing primarily on those who had received harsher treatment. Li Hai investigated not only the cases of imprisoned students and intellectuals but also the cases of Beijing residents from all walks of life.

Li Hai was apprehended and detained on May 31, 1995. He was not formally arrested until April 5, 1996, when he was indicted on charges of "leaking state secrets" under the 1988 Law on the Protection of State Secrets and its 1990 Implementing Regulations. Until the date of his indictment, his whereabouts were unknown. He was later known to be held at the Chaoyang District Detention Center in Beijing. His relatives, who were not allowed to see him after May 31, 1995, appealed in person to the Public Security Bureau, the procuracy and the court to enquire about his whereabouts ant the reason for his detention, but their questions remained unanswered.

Li Hai was tried on May 21, 1996 by the Beijing Intermediate People's Court in Chaoyang District. For seven months, until December 1996, no verdict was announced. His family was not allowed to attend the trial which was held behind closed doors because of the alleged "state secrets" involved with the case, despite claims by the Chinese authorities that it was an open trial. After Li Hai was indicted, his mother Gong Liwen received a postcard from him asking her to hire a lawyer. The lawyer hired by the family was the only person allowed to see Li Hai since his detention in May 1995. He challenged the charge of "leaking state secrets" and, for lack of evidence, the final court verdict accused Li Hai of "prying into and collecting the following information about people sentenced for criminal activities during the June Fourth 1989 period: name, age, family situation, crime, length of sentence, location of imprisonment, treatment while imprisoned." The Beijing Chaoyang District Court sentence Li Hai to nine years' imprisonment and two years' deprivation of political rights.

June 19, 1998