Reuters top ten news stories delivered to your inbox each day.
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
China's SARS hero demands apology for detention
Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:35am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Emma Graham-Harrison
BEIJING (Reuters) - A military surgeon who blew the whistle on China's SARS cover-up in 2003 and asked the Communist Party to reassess its 1989 crackdown on Tiananmen protesters has asked the government to apologize for detaining him.
Jiang Yanyong wrote to President Hu Jintao demanding an apology for time he spent confined in an army "guesthouse" and months under house arrest, according to a copy of the letter seen by Reuters. He also asked Hu to lift a ban on overseas travel.
There are no new revelations in the letter, but it is likely to upset the government by raising the sensitive Tiananmen protests just months before the 20th anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, and as officials grapple with economic crisis.
The elderly doctor was hustled away from public view after he riled Communist leaders with an explosive letter in 2004 detailing his experience treating victims of the army assault on central Beijing on June 4, 1989, in which hundreds died.
He accused the army of using "fragmentation bullets" banned by international convention and of duping the soldiers who led the attack into thinking they were suppressing a rebellion.
That letter also detailed the sackings and demotions of colleagues who refused to condemn the students, while the prospects of those who toed the official line brightened.
Jiang asked for the students to be relabeled patriotic. He blamed the events of 1989 on Chen Xitong, who was sacked as Beijing's Communist Party boss in 1995 for corruption.
In his latest missive, Jiang said that his actions in both 2003 and 2004 were driven only by his responsibility as a doctor to save lives, and leaders would be breaking their promises of change and progress unless they provide him with an apology.
"Only then will they be in compliance with the ideals of Party's ... leadership: 'rule by law', 'the people first' and 'harmonious society'," he wrote.
When contacted by Reuters, Jiang declined to comment because as a Party member he needs permission to speak to foreign media.
PARTY AT RISK
Analysts say a revision of the official verdict that the 1989 student-led protests were "counter-revolutionary" or subversive, is unlikely in the near future.
Such a step could split the Communist Party leadership and trigger a power struggle. Some top leaders involved in, or who benefited from, the killings are still alive and influential.
Jiang's whistle-blowing on the deadly SARS epidemic saved countless lives and made him a national hero -- explaining in part the government's harsh response when he decided to tackle the sensitive Tiananmen protests.
Jiang said he was kidnapped from his office and held for weeks at an army guesthouse where he was forced to undergo "study sessions." After seven weeks he was returned home but placed under house arrest. Continued...
View article on single page
Zimbabwe court orders release of MDC official
Also On Reuters
Hurt globally, al Qaeda bets on South Asia turmoil
Madoff mysteries remain as he nears guilty plea
Google to target ads based on online activity
More International News
North Korea tells international agencies of rocket plans
Teenage gunman kills 15 in German school attack
U.S. tries to play down naval confrontation with China
Sarkozy says France will rejoin NATO command
Security tight as Pakistani protesters gather
More International News...
Reuters.com is making changes to help you understand the global economic crisis. Blog
Most Popular on Reuters
Man with grudge kills 10 in Alabama shooting spree | Video
World's richest not so rich, Gates regains top spot
Google turns voicemail to email
Q+A: What is behind the political turmoil in Pakistan?
Museum finds "secret" message in Lincoln's watch
U.S. foreclosure filings rise in February | Video
Apple rolls out talking iPod Shuffle
45 percent of world's wealth destroyed: Blackstone CEO
Japan mired in recession, no sign of quick recovery
"Big Love" network apologizes to Mormons
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
High seas diplomacy
The German school shooter
Alabama shooting rampage
Grenade attack at Kiev rail station
Obama: Optimistic about G20
Facing the Taliban
Deadly multiple shooting in Alabama
Talk of the Town: Rihanna and Brown
Naughty chimp's human ways
Reality tv star's cancer ordeal
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
Dalai Lama slams China over Tibet "suffering"
The Dalai Lama said more and more Chinese were beginning to see a problem with Beijing's rule over Tibet, lamenting how the homeland he fled 50 years ago had become a "hell on earth." Full Article | Topics
Heavy security as Tibetans mark Dalai Lama's exile
China's Hu demands wall of stability in Tibet
Question marks over succession of Dalai Lama
Factbox: Historical ties between China and Tibet
The global destination for corporate leaders, deal-makers and innovators
Knowledge to Act
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.