Rebel who splashed ink on Mao portrait dies - RTHK
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Rebel who splashed ink on Mao portrait dies

2017-04-10 HKT 16:25
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  • From left, Yu Zhijian, Yu Dongyue and Lu Decheng when they reunited for the first time since their release from prison. File photo: AFP
    From left, Yu Zhijian, Yu Dongyue and Lu Decheng when they reunited for the first time since their release from prison. File photo: AFP
One of the dissidents responsible for splashing ink on a portrait of Mao Zedong during the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations passed away last month in the US, his widow said on Monday.

Yu Zhijian, 53, died on March 30 of complications related to diabetes, his widow Xian Gui'e said by phone from their home in Indiana state.

"Yu Zhijian never regretted what he did in 1989 but he would have liked to apologise to Mao's family for throwing eggs on the portrait," she told.

Yu served nearly 12 years in prison for throwing eggs filled with ink onto the portrait.

He was sentenced to life imprisonment after a brutal crackdown ended the protests and was eventually released for good behaviour in September 2000.

He and his accomplice Yu Dongyue, released in 2006 after 17 years in prison, fled China in 2009 after obtaining political asylum in the US. A third man also involved in the ink-throwing incident, Lu Decheng, fled overseas in 2004 after his release in 1998.

Xian said that her husband obtained US citizenship and worked as a caregiver. They never attempted to return to China, she added. (AFP)