Below is a translation of an item recently discovered by Dui Hua in a 2005 volume published by Chishan Prison, in Hunan Province. Formerly known as Hunan Number One Prison, this prison, located on an island in Dongting Lake, has long been the main place of incarceration for political prisoners in Hunan. The passage describes actions taken to “resist reform” by “counterrevolutionary” prisoners, including some incarcerated for crimes committed in the spring of 1989. Of the two cited for receiving letters of concern from overseas, it is worth noting that one, Yu Dongyue, a June Fourth prisoner, was eventually released more than three years early, in February 2006, after receiving two reductions to his original 20-year sentence.

Counterrevolutionary groups have frequently been active inside the prison. After the political disturbances of 1989, each year on June 4 counterrevolutionary Chen Xuefu (陈学富) would gather together fellow prisoners to fast with him for a day in remembrance of the ‘elite’ who died during the June Fourth incident, and on October 10 they would celebrate the Nationalist Party’s National Day by ‘adding dishes’ [i.e., eating more].

Rioter Zhang Xudong (张旭东) (leading member of the Changsha Workers’ Autonomous Federation) wrote a 30-page item [entitled] ‘History Will Prove Me Innocent.’

Yu Dongyue (喻东岳), who defaced the portrait of Chairman Mao, long feigned madness in order to resist reform. Foreign hostile forces frequently sent him letters to make contact and incite rebellion. Between January 1992 and April 1993, Yu received a total of eight letters from organizations and individuals in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and five other countries.

In 2001, Zhang Shanguang (张善光) [labor activist imprisoned in July 1998 and released in July 2008 after serving his full 10-year sentence] received more than 30 letters, mostly from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Most of these letters came from legislators, professors, teachers, lawyers, and members of ‘Amnesty International’ and national human rights organizations. (《湖南省赤山监狱志》[赤山:赤山监狱, 2005], 119)