China: Human Rights, Freedom of the Press and Free Expression Still Illusive — “We Still Cannot Discuss Tiananmen Massacre”

Li Xuewen, an essayist and playwright in Beijing, has been fired from his job as a book editor in what he said was retribution for attending a private event in May marking the 25th anniversary of the military suppression of the Tiananmen Square protests.

Mr. Li, 37, a senior editor at the state-owned Lijiang Publishing House, said he was abruptly let go on Tuesday.

In a telephone interview Tuesday evening, Mr. Li said his boss had come under pressure from security agents in the two months since a group of intellectuals and rights advocates gathered at an apartment in Beijing to discuss the 1989 crackdown, in which hundreds, possibly thousands, of civilians were killed. A photograph of the seminar’s participants was posted on the Internet, drawing the attention of the authorities at a time when the Chinese government was anxious to tamp down any commemoration or public discussion of the politically sensitive anniversary.

Li Xuewen.

Li Xuewen

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http://sinosphere.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/07/16/book-editor-says-his-firing-was-linked-to-tiananmen-gathering/?src=twr

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People sit together as they commemorate China's 1989 Tiananmen Square events during a candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on June 4
In Hong Kong, tens of thousands gathered to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen protests and to show their support for continued democracy in Hong Kong

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Crowds gather in Hong Kong to remember the events in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, on June 4, 1989. Credit Philippe Lopez/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Iconic June 5, 1989, photo of a protester standing in front of tanks at Tiananmen Square. He was pulled away by  bystanders.

Iconic June 5, 1989, photo of a protester standing in front of tanks at Tiananmen Square. He was pulled away by bystanders. (Jeff Widener/Associated Press)

Photo: Chinese people wear face masks with “No to Kunming PX,” paraxylene, written, chant slogans as they hold protest against a planned refinery project in downtown Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan province Saturday, May 4, 2013. After word spread about an environmental protest that was planned for Saturday in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, drugstores and printing shops were ordered to report anyone making certain purchases. Microbloggers say government fliers urged people not to demonstrate, and schools were told to stay open to keep students on campus. Meanwhile, hundreds of people – many wearing mouth masks – gathered in Kunming to protest a planned refinery project in the area. The demonstrators demanded information transparency and that public health be safeguarded. (AP Photo)

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U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama delivers a speech at the Stanford Center at Peking University on March 22, 2014 in Beijing, China.

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama on her way to deliver a speech at the Stanford Center at Peking University on March 22, 2014 in Beijing, China Photo: GETTY IMAGES
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