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Jiang Qisheng: Writer of open letter on the 10th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre tried for subversion

November 1, 1999

On November 1, June Fourth activist Jiang Qisheng was tried for "propagating and instigating subversion." His main "crime" was organizing an open letter to the Chinese public that called for the collective commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre.

His lawyer, Mao Shaoping defended Jiang's innocence, insisting that the content of the June Fourth open letter was not criminal. Jiang spoke in his own defense and condemned the court for denying him sufficient time to hire a lawyer and for otherwise violating his right to due process.

Following Jiang's statement, his wife Zhang Hong applauded in support. She was immediately removed from the courtroom and detained for questioning. During the interrogation, authorities warned Zhang Hong not to disclose any of the court proceedings to the international media, complaining that the international press had disturbed the work of the court.

The court was called into recess without announcing a sentence. The court said that a decision would be made within two-and-a-half months on whether there would be a retrial or whether a sentence for Jiang would be announced.

Further Information:

  • Article on Jiang Qisheng, China Rights Forum, Fall 1999 issue.