Dissidents and civil rights campaigners yesterday said the government is watching them more closely after the death of deposed Chinese leader Zhao Ziyang (
Qi Zhiyong (
"I found police outside my front door after I came home from the acupuncture clinic," he said.
Qi said he has been sending messages through his mobile phone to urge friends to go to Zhao's home or attend any memorial services that might be arranged -- but there is one problem.
"We call on those people who have a conscience to wear a white ribbon and black armband, to get out there," Qi said.
"But some people have been placed under surveillance and I can't really go out myself either," he said.
Zhao, China's premier and head of the Communist Party for much of the 1980s, was ousted from power for opposing the military crackdown on the 1989 protests. Hundreds if not thousands of unarmed protesters and citizens were killed when tanks and troops moved into central Beijing.
AIDS activist Hu Jia (
"My friends are telling me not to come back to Beijing. But I must return. The first thing I need to do is to buy a wreath and find out where a memorial is being held," he said. "If there is no way to find out, we'll go to Tiananmen Square."
Ding Zilin (
Ding, who has been campaigning for an official vindication of the 1989 protests with a group called the Tiananmen Mothers, said plainclothes police were outside her home yesterday.
She said she was also followed when she went out in a taxi.
She declined to say whether she and others were planning to organize activities to commemorate Zhao.