23 March 2018

08/13/2009 CHINA

Tan Zuoren tried: he sought the truth about the death of thousands of schoolchildren

Tan, human rights activist, for months had investigated the collapse of schools in the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008. Arrested in March, yesterday was tried behind closed doors for "incitement to subversion". Entry forbidden to hundreds of activists.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) – The closed-door trial took less than two hours the before the court in Chengdu (Sichuan) against activist Tan Zuoren for "incitement to subversion against state power." The Chinese Human Rights Defenders and rights activists complain that he only sought the truth about the deaths children in the earthquake in Sichuan in May 2008.

Around 500 human rights activists and parents of dead children asked to attend the trial, but a hundred police officers were deployed at the court and prevented them from entering, even Tan’s  brother. His wife, daughter and friend were only allowed entry. Other activists, including the renowned architect Ai Weiwei, were forcibly detained and mistreated at their residences and were not able to even go to court.

The process began at 10 am and was concluded shortly after noon, but the court has not yet announced the decision.

In the Sichuan earthquake thousands of schoolchildren died in the collapse of schools. The parents complain that schools came down like "tofu puddings”, while the surrounding buildings withstood. The government replied that the only cause of the collapse was the violence of the earthquake and have refused any other explanation or investigation.

Tan has written articles critical of the government and investigated the quality of school buildings. On March 28 the police arrested him. Among other things, he is accused of having spoken with foreign journalists, about the earthquake, and of having made comments detrimental to the image of the Communist Party and the government. He is also accused of having collaborated with "foreign hostile forces" that organized events to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 4 June 1989.


See also

27/03/2014 CHINA
Tan Zuoren, who sought justice for children killed in Sichuan, free after five years
After the terrible earthquake of 2008 , which killed more than 5,600 children in the schools of the province, the activist had investigated the building standards and denounced the corruption of the local government. Convicted of "subversion of state power", he is ready to continue his fight for the peoples’ rights.

09/08/2008 CHINA
In prison for defending victims of earthquake in Sichuan
The activist Huang Qi has been under arrest for two months, after protecting the parents of the students who died under the collapsed schools. But with the inauguration of the Olympics, all are expressing their solidarity with the victims of the earthquake.

12/05/2009 CHINA
One year on, China remembers the dead of Sichuan
A crowd of earthquake survivor’s prayer and burn incense before the ghost town of Beichuan. A minute of silence for Hu Jintao. Petitions denouncing the badly built schools blocked. Foreign journalists impeded.

21/04/2009 CHINA
Sichuan earthquake: another suicide, risk is high that many will imitate him
A political official from Beichuan has killed himself, devastated over the death of his 8-year-old son and overwhelmed by his rebuilding responsibilities. Experts: many could commit suicide at the anniversary.

09/08/2017 12:04:00 CHINA
A second shock hits Sichuan. Quake leaves 13 dead and 175 injured

The strongest quake occurred last night. The area is a very well-known tourist area. Yesterday 38,000 tourists visited the site. Emergency teams are in action along with four helicopters and rescue dogs. Yesterday’s shock brought back memories of the 2008 earthquake that killed 87,000 people.

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