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Prisoners of the State

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Twenty years after Chinese troops crushed demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, new light has now been shed on the incident by the secret memoirs of Zhao Ziyang. The former Premier died in 2005, after living under house arrest for 16 years for supporting the pro-democracy movement. In those years of seclusion, he managed to record a testimony in audiotapes in complete secrecy. The tapes he produced were smuggled out of the country and form the basis for the book ‘Prisoner of the State: The Secret Journal of Premier Zhao Ziyang’.

Bao Pu, a political commentator and human rights activist, is the publisher, editor and translator of the book. He is also the son of Bao Tong, the former policy secretary of Zhao Ziyang. Bao Tong was the highest government official to be sentenced in relation to the 1989 movement, and is held under strict surveillance even after his release in 1997, with family visit limited. Father and son were both instrumental to the publication of Zhao’s memoir. For Bao Pu, publishing the book is a way of seeking justice for more than one prisoners of the state – for Zhao, for his father, and more who have been affected by the tragedy of 89’.

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