Chairman Mao's Victims Prod China to Confront Past

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Huang Zeyun, 74 (from left), Yan Dunfu, 69, and Ren Zhong, 73 i

Huang Zeyun, 74 (from left), Yan Dunfu, 69, and Ren Zhong, 73, were victims of the 1957 anti-rightist campaign. They organized fellow victims to sign a petition calling on the government to admit the campaign was a mistake. Anthony Kuhn, NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Anthony Kuhn, NPR
Huang Zeyun, 74 (from left), Yan Dunfu, 69, and Ren Zhong, 73

Huang Zeyun, 74 (from left), Yan Dunfu, 69, and Ren Zhong, 73, were victims of the 1957 anti-rightist campaign. They organized fellow victims to sign a petition calling on the government to admit the campaign was a mistake.

Anthony Kuhn, NPR

A half-century ago, Chairman Mao called on Chinese to speak their minds and offer constructive criticism of the Communist Party's work. But when they did, at least 50,000 were branded "rightists." Many lost their careers; some lost their lives.

Now, as China's legislature holds its annual session, some of Mao Zedong's victims from that time are asking their leaders to revisit a chapter that they've tried to airbrush out of history.

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