March 29, 1979 (a Thursday)

Ban the Chinese Government

On 29 March 1979, Wei Jingsheng, an electrician at the Beijing Zoo, was arrested by Chinese Communist bosses for writing the article “Do We Want Democracy or a New Dictatorship?” It had appeared in the March 1979 issue of Exploration, in which he warned the Chinese people that Deng Xiaoping could turn into a new dictator if the present political system continued. Wei’s boldness infuriated Deng, who ordered Wei’s arrest. Six months later at a show trial from which his family and friends were excluded, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment and placed in solitary confinement as an example to others. A transcript of the trial, in which Wei rejected the charges against him, came into hands of editors of April 5th Forum, who printed it in their magazine. They too were arrested.

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