First Anniversary of Zhao Ziyang's Death, Beijing Pro-Democracy Activists Arrested

January 10, 2006 Updated: January 10, 2006

On January 6, 2006, Beijing resident Li Jinping made an announcement that he would hold a memorial service in his home to commemorate the first anniversary of Zhao Ziyang's death on January 9. Two days later, on the morning of January 8, Li was arrested by the national security police from Chaoyang District in Beijing. Another co-initiator of the memorial service, Beijing pro-democracy activist Liu Jingsheng, was also threatened and monitored by police from the National Security Bureau.

One of Li Jingping's family members confirmed that five police in two police vehicles hid behind a sand heap near Li's home and watched until Li came back. They then rushed in. The police asked Li to walk with them and they later arrested him. This happened at around 11 a.m.

The family member said that in the past year, Li Jinping had been arrested four to five times. Each time he was detained from seven to more than ten days. Li and his family members had never received any legal documents, such as proof of detention, from the government.

Li Jinping once stated that his godmother and Zhao Ziyang's wife were sworn friends, and as a national leader, Zhao Ziyang had made a great contribution to the people. From the perspective of friendship and duty, he has always insisted that Zhao should be given the highest honors, such as a state funeral.

Li Jingping used to be a police officer in Beijing. He was later transferred to a detention center in the Chaoyang District where he guarded Beijing pro-democracy activist Li Hai (in around 1996). At that time, he talked to Li Hai for over 10 minutes. He admired these activists' cause. Hence in 2001, after he quit the police force, Li had close contact with pro-democracy activists in Beijing.

In the meantime, another pro-democracy activist Liu Jingsheng, who had openly published a statement on the internet commemorating Zhao Ziyang, was also threatened and monitored by the police. He told the reporter that three officers from the National Security Bureau had just left and they said that he was under house arrest for the following day.