clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:


Beijing's highest court Tuesday formally rejected the final appeals of three key dissidents convicted of masterminding the 1989 Tiananmen Spring pro-democracy movement.

The Beijing People's Higher Court ruled that Wang Juntao, 32, was fairly convicted at his one-day trial last month of sedition and "agitating counterrevolutionary propaganda," according to a document issued to his wife.The court granted no change in the verdicts against Wang and upheld his 13-year prison sentence, said the document labeled "Final Judgment."

Relatives of Wang's co-defendant, Chen Ziming, 39, and of veteran human rights campaigner Ren Wanding, 45, said they telephoned the court and were told that their verdicts and sentences also had been upheld.

Chen was tried Feb. 11 and sentenced a day later to 13 years in prison, also for sedition and counterrevolution. Ren was convicted in January of inciting counterrevolution and sentenced to seven years behind bars.

"This is very unfair," said Wang's wife, Hou Xiaotian, 28, who prepared the appeal herself after Wang's lawyers declined under government pressure to stay with the case.

"I was prepared for this and I am not surprised," Hou said, her eyes swollen and her face etched with anguish. "My mood is very stable, but I am disappointed with our country's laws."

Hou said she and her husband believed from the outset that Wang and Chen had been singled out as the masterminds of the massive spring 1989 pro-democracy protests that were crushed in the June 4 Beijing massacre.

She said the verdicts represented the political views of China's hard-line Communist Party leadership, which ordered the army to open fire on the capital's citizens.

"There is no law to speak of here in China," Hou said firmly.