Family members of Chinese dissident Li Wangyang, who died under suspicious circumstances five years ago, were allowed to visit his grave in Hunan province on Tuesday under close monitoring by public security agents, hk01.com reports.
His younger sister Li Wangling, accompanied by her husband Zhao Baozhu, was seen in deep grief in front of the grave.
The couple were surrounded by police officers during their visit, according to sources from the Information Center for Human Rights & Democracy Movement in China.
The Center said about 50 people from Hunan province who wanted to pay their respects to Li were either detained or stopped by local police.
Born in 1950, Li Wangyang was an activist and labor leader in Hunan. He was jailed for 22 years for supporting the student-led democracy movement in 1989.
He was allegedly tortured during his imprisonment, and when he was released, he lost his left eyesight and was almost deaf.
In May 2012, he expressed his views on the June 4 massacre in an interview with Hong Kong’s Cable TV News. He said he would rather give up his life than end his fight for democracy in China.
The interview was aired on June 2 of that year, and Li was given the Spirit of Freedom Award by the Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars on June 4.
On June 6, Li’s sister Wangling was told by the hospital where her brother had been confined that he had killed himself in his room.
Li’s family suspected that he had been killed, but the authorities had removed his body before the family could seek an impartial investigation.
The authorities said an autopsy on Li’s body was conducted on June 8 and the result showed that the cause of his death was suicide.
Li’s body was cremated on June 9 even without the consent of Li’s family.
Li Wangling insisted that she does not believe her brother had killed himself. She also voiced fears that one day she would be killed for talking to media.
However, she told a Hong Kong reporter that regardless of the circumstances, she would never commit suicide.
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