Exiled Chinese dissidents demand right to return to China
(dpa) - Sixteen exiled Chinese dissidents on Thursday demanded China lift the ban on their going back to China.
A statement released in Taipei by US-based Chinese dissident Wang Dan said that since the June 4, 1989, massacre in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, China has revoked or refused to renew the dissidents' Chinese passports.
Wang is visiting Taiwan to observe the March 22 presidential election.
They had pleaded with China many times to drop the ban on their entering China, but Beijing had neither solved the problem nor provided a reasonable answer, Wang said.
"China will hold the Olympic Games this summer. According to the Olympic Charter, no country should bar anyone from attending the Olympic Games on political or religious grounds.
"Barring a Chinese citizen from visiting China violates the Olympic Charter," the statement said.
The statement asked China to renew the dissidents' Chinese passports and respect their right to enter and leave China freely.
"If China continues to deny us the right to visit China, we will be forced to use various methods to return to China," the statement said.
The 16 petitioners all took part in the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing and fled China - or were sent into exile by China - after the movement was crushed by Chinese troops. The incident later became known as the Tiananmen Massacre.
China has barred the exiled pro-democracy activists from returning for fear that they might regroup themselves to overthrow the Chinese government.