1989 Tiananmen Square protester is killed in his New York law office
A dissident jurist imprisoned for two years in China after participating in the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square was killed Monday in the office of his law firm in New York, where he had moved after asking for the asylum in the United States, police said.
Li Jinjin, 66, was stabbed to death in the city where he had long worked as an immigration lawyer, even as he continued to publicly defend the many people imprisoned or killed by Chinese authorities during the democracy movement from the country.
An arrest has been made in his murder. According to police, 25-year-old Xiaoning Zhang has been arrested and faces a murder charge. It was not immediately clear when she would be arraigned or if she had retained a lawyer.
Chuang Chuang Chen, CEO of the Chinese Democratic Party, and attorney Wei Zhu, a friend of Li’s, both told the New York Daily News that the murder may have stemmed from Li’s refusal to take on Zhang as a client.
Zhang came to the United States in August on an F-1 student visa to attend school in Los Angeles, Chen told the Daily News.
Li, who also went by the name Jim, has often been quoted in recent years by news agencies seeking information or commentary on the Chinese dissident community or China-Western relations. As an immigration lawyer, he also represented Chinese expatriates living in the United States who were considered fugitives by that country.
Prior to his imprisonment for protesting, Li had served as legal counsel for an independent trade union that challenged the Chinese government over workers’ rights.
I can not believe it. It not only destroyed his life, but also the hope of our community, Zhu told the newspaper. He wanted to realize democracy in China. He will never realize this dream.
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