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Reprisal Feared for Doctor Who Questioned Tiananmen Verdict - 2004-03-08

A relative of a young man killed during China's 1989 crackdown on the pro-democracy movement has expressed fears about the safety of a Beijing doctor who urged the government to admit it made mistakes. Dr. Jiang Yanyong wrote a letter to parliament last month, urging China's government to reappraise the 1989 demonstrations in Tiananmen Square as a patriotic movement, rather than a counter-revolutionary disturbance. Others who have issued similar appeals have been detained, questioned or in some cases, jailed.

The mother of one teenager killed in the 1989 crackdown told the French news agency she is worried about the safety of Dr. Jiang. Ding Zilin said she endured years of government harassment when she lobbied for an official apology.

Reuters news agency says the doctor already has been questioned about the letter by security officials.

Dr. Jiang rose to fame last year when he said publicly that the number of SARS patients in Beijing was much larger than Chinese authorities had acknowledged.