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China is going to release the last Tiananmen Square protest prisoner

Miao Deshun will be released in October after nearly three decades in jail.

Chinese troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians during the 1989 pro-democracy protest.
Chinese troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians during the 1989 pro-democracy protest.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

CHINA IS PLANNING to release the last prisoner known to be held in connection with the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests after nearly three decades in jail, a US-based human rights group has said.

Miao Deshun, 51, is due to be released in October after serving more than 27 years in prison for his involvement in the mass demonstrations that were brutally put down by China’s government.

Chinese courts originally gave him a suspended death sentence for arson after he and “four coworkers allegedly threw a basket onto a burning tank”, the Duihua Foundation  said.

Commuted to life imprisonment, his prison term was subsequently reduced several times, most recently this year, when authorities shortened it by 11 months for good behaviour.

The Duihua Foundation said Deshun had spent time in solitary confinement and had been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

People who served sentences with him in the 1990s remember him as a very thin man who refused to admit wrongdoing and participate in prison labour.

In 2013, Duihua said that China had released Jiang Yaqun, then 73, and thought to be the last prisoner convicted of counter-revolutionary offences in relation to the protests.

Chinese troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians during the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, estimated by some to be more than 1,000.

- © AFP, 2016 

Read: In pics: Huge parade at Tiananmen Square but Beijing residents barred from watching

 

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