Kang disappeared on May 6, 1992, and was presumed arrested, according to the New York-based advocacy organization Human Rights Watch. In October 1993, in response to an inquiry from the U.N. Working Group on Disappearances, Chinese authorities said Kang was arrested on May 27, 1992. On July 14, 1994, he was one of 16 individuals tried in a Chinese court for alleged involvement with underground pro-democracy groups. Kang was accused, among other charges, of launching Freedom Forum, the magazine of the Chinese Progressive Alliance, and of commissioning people to write articles for the magazine. On December 16, 1994, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison for “disseminating counterrevolutionary propaganda” and for “organizing and leading a counterrevolutionary group.” His sentence has been reduced three times, by a total of three years and eight months, for good behavior.