China blocks Edgar Snow's widow from visiting Tiananmen Square critic

April 02, 2000|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

BEIJING -- The widow of Edgar Snow, the American journalist who was celebrated here as a friend of China for his sympathetic portrayal of the Communist revolution, was prevented by police yesterday from meeting a prominent critic of the 1989 army crackdown on student democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square.

Lois Wheeler Snow, 79, and her 50-year-old son, Christopher Snow, were halted at the gate of People's University.

They had hoped to meet with Ding Zilin at her apartment inside the campus, where she is a professor, and to support her efforts to provide money and consolation to relatives of those killed by the army in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in June 1989.

Ding's 17-year-old son was among the dead. Since then, she has demanded that top officials be held accountable for the shooting of unarmed demonstrators, and she has been a key organizer of bereaved families, many of whom have suffered financially.

"This is a just a friendly visit from a mother with a son to a mother who has lost a son -- to many mothers who have lost sons," Snow said. "I just want them to let her receive donations and distribute them to the victims' families."

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