e last known prisoner from the Tiananmen Square riots is about to go free after some 27 years behind bars. The human rights group, Dui Hua, says Miao Deshun is due to be released Saturday. Like this unknown protester, who became a symbol for the 1989 uprising in Beijing, little is known about Miao.
Reuter's Ben Blanchard has been researching the 51-year-old inmate.>> According to the Dui Hau Foundation, Miao was sentenced in 1989 after the protest for what the government said was his role in arson, when he apparently threw a basket onto a burning tank.>> Miao, was one of more than one million activists demanding democracy and freedom.
Instead they got a brutal crackdown. China's ruling Communist Party has never released an official death toll, and is highly unlikely to announce Miao's release.>> The Tiananmen Square incident is something that remains taboo in China. There really is no public discussion of it allowed. The government, basically, never makes statements about it.
It's something they wish to brush under the carpet and that everybody should forget. And they get extremely upset every year on the anniversary when rights groups and foreign governments continue to make calls for a restitution, for a proper accounting for what happened during the incident. Campaigners say Miao's release does not bring the tragedy to a close, warning that authorities still try to keep the truth from the public.