【 Radio Free Asia 】   Post Date: 8/26/2015
Taiwan Turns Down Asylum Request by 1989 Chinese Democracy Activist
Author: Ka Pa and Wei Ling
Gong Yujian, who served time in a labor camp in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, failed to board his return flight across the Taiwan Strait earlier this month, citing constant harassment by the authorities under a nationwide crackdown on critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party under President Xi Jinping.
2015-08-26
 
2015826image(1).jpg (622×373)
Rights activist Gong Yujian (R) and former Tiananmen student leader Wu'er Kaixi (L) meet in Taiwan in an undated photo.
(Photo courtesy of Gong Yujian)
 
UPDATED at 12:42 P.M. EST on 26-08-2015
 
 
A veteran Chinese dissident who applied for political asylum in Taiwan during a tourist visit to the democratic island has had his application refused, he told RFA on Wednesday.
 
Gong Yujian, who served time in a labor camp in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, failed to board his return flight across the Taiwan Strait earlier this month, citing constant harassment by the authorities under a nationwide crackdown on critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party under President Xi Jinping.
 
"The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) in Taiwan has very clearly refused my application for political asylum," Gong said in an interview on Wednesday.
 
"The reason they gave was something about my not being able to prove that the documents I brought with me were genuine, and something about my being a fairly small player [in 1989]," Gong told RFA.
 
Gong, 38, whose tourist visa to Taiwan has expired, now faces imminent deportation from Taiwan, and has called on supporters of China's pro-democracy movement to speak out on his behalf.
 
Gong said he had brought with him the official document sentencing him to "re-education through labor," which bears the official stamp of the issuing department.
 
"This is proof that I was subjected to political persecution by the Chinese Communist Party because of the 1989 protests," he said. "It's true that I was a fairly small fish, but it was the participation of many thousands of ordinary people at the bottom of the social ladder that shocked the world, wasn't it?"
 
"Do I have to rot in jail for the rest of my life to count as a well-known figure?"
 
Continuing persecution
 
Gong arrived in Taiwan on a tourist visa on July 22 and decided not to board his return flight with his fellow travelers on Aug. 6, citing continuing persecution at the hands of the authorities.
 
He had previously served two years' "re-education through labor" in 1994 for "counterrevolutionary crimes" after he took part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement.
 
An employee who answered the phone at the MAC on Wednesday declined to comment.
 
"I don't think I can answer that for you because I'm not the spokesperson," the employee said. "Can you send me an e-mail with your questions?"
 
After RFA e-mailed the questions, MAC did not comment on the case, but said it had relevant procedures to handle mainlanders who want to become legal residents of Taiwan.
 
Gong said that one of his aims in leaving China was to ensure that the military crackdown on the weeks-long student-led democracy movement in 1989 would never be forgotten.
 
"There must be a reappraisal of June 4,” he said. “The blood of June 4 can't have been shed in vain."
 
"Mainland China should definitely implement democracy, because that's the only way to really ensure its development, the only way that there is hope for world peace," he said.
 
 
Key Words: Asylum,Taiwan,June 4th,Gong Yujian
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