Last Tiananmen Square prisoner to be released after 27 years in prison

BEIJING, Oct. 15 (UPI) — Miao Deshun, the last known prisoner jailed following the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising in Beijing, is set to be released from prison on Saturday.

Miao was 25-years-old when he took part in the student-led demonstration which turned bloody after military involvement in the Square, and was one of the 1,602 people sent to prison for taking part.

He was originally sentenced to death in August 1989, but his sentence was reverted to life in prison in 1991. In 1998 his sentence was reduced to 20 years in jail, then changed to 19 years in 2012. He is being released early on good behavior.

Miao now reportedly suffers from chronic schizophrenia due to years in solitary confinement and routine torture.

The events in Tiananmen Square have been removed from the history books by China’s Communist Party with most residents unaware of the violent clash between protesters and the Chinese government.

“The Chinese government continues to run the world’s largest censorship apparatus — in part to block the spreading of sensitive historical information like the Tiananmen crackdown — and it continues to harshly deal with the few people who bravely attempt to commemorate and pay tribute to those who died during the period,” said William Nee, China researcher at Amnesty International.

Miao’s release will likely go unnoticed in the country that held him prisoner for so long.

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