Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Remembering June 4, 1989 - Families of Tiananmen Square victims accuse Beijing of three decades of 'white terror' // Tiananmen Mothers: No Amount of Power Can Rub Out June Fourth

NB: Human rights defenders the world over should read the Tiananmen Mothers appeal and unequivocally support the Chinese people's struggle for democracy and justice. We must no longer allow national, ethnic, political and religious boundaries to obstruct clear vision on the matter of human rights - this struggle is global since violations and injustice are also global - DS

The families of those killed during the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown have accused Beijing of subjecting them to nearly three decades of “white terror” in a bid to stop them speaking out about the massacre. In an open letter, (see below) published on Wednesday ahead of the 27th anniversary of the protests, the Tiananmen Mothers campaigning group said its members had been spied on, detained and threatened by security agents as part of attempts to cover up the killings.
Miao Deshun was one of 1,600 Chinese people jailed after the mass pro-democracy demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

But the families vowed they would not be silenced by such “detestable perversity”. “We have nothing left to fear,” they wrote. Saturday marks the 27th anniversary of the start of the military offensive against pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square – and in other Chinese cities – during which hundreds, perhaps thousands are believed to have died. To this day, the Communist party continues to outlaw discussion or remembrance of those events, fearing such a reckoning would affect its grip on power. No public investigation has even been held and the precise death toll remains a mystery. Ahead of this year’s anniversary, police have embarked on their annual campaign to quell dissent. At least three activists were detained in Beijing in the early hours of Tuesday after attending a remembrance event where they were photographed under a banner reading: “Don’t forget the wounds of the country.”

On Sunday, a man in southwest China was detained on subversion charges after allegedly sharing online photographs of bottles of Chinese liquor with labels alluding to the crackdown. Meanwhile Ding Zilin, the 79-year-old founder of the Tiananmen Mothers coalition, has reportedly been confined to her Beijing home by security officials. Ding, whose 17-year-old son was shot through the heart during the 1989 crackdown, became a widow last September when her husband died at the age of 82. “She is physically and mentally exhausted and her state is worrisome,” her fellow campaigners said in their open letter this week.

Last prisoner from 1989 to be released: .. but families of those gunned down by government troops have yet to receive justice or compensation, and even today public remembrance of the massacre is outlawed despite calls for an inquiry.

The Tiananmen Mothers said they would ignore the pressure and continue to demand truth, accountability, and compensation. “A government that unscrupulously slaughters its own fellow citizens, a government that does not know how to cherish its own fellow citizens, and a government that forgets, conceals, and covers up the truth of historical suffering has no future,” they wrote. “It is a government that is continuing to commit crimes.”

On the 27th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre
The Tiananmen Mothers
 June 1, 2016
In September last year, a key member of the Tiananmen Mothers group, Mr. Jiang Peikun, passed away. His death was followed by that of Ms. Zhang Shuyun from Shandong. And in April this year, Ms. Han Shuxiang from Dalian died of illness. To date, 41 members from our group of victims’ family members are deceased. Their final regret was not being able to see justice done and wrong redressed!

Twenty-seven years have passed since the June Fourth Massacre of 1989. For us, family members of the victims’ families, it has been 27 years of white terror and suffocation.

For 27 years, the police have been the ones who have dealt with us. For 27 years, they have also been our frequent visitors at home. Each beginning of the year, from the anniversary of the late premier Mr. Zhao Ziyang’s death, to the Two Congresses, Tomb Sweeping Day, anniversary of June Fourth, to major national events and foreign politicians’ visits—we the victims’ families are eavesdropped and surveilled upon by the police; we are followed or even detained, and our computers searched and confiscated. The police use contemptible means such as making up stories, fabricating facts, issuing threats, etc., against us. All these actions undoubtedly desecrate the souls of those who perished in June Fourth, and insult the honors of the living.  
What is worse this year, the police have warned us, is that from April 22 to June 4, visits to Teacher Ding Zilin are being restricted. Those who want to visit her must apply for permission and may visit her only after approval by the Beijing Public Security Bureau, and they may not be accompanied by other victims’ family members.

Teacher Ding Zilin lost two family members last year—what a cruel double blow to an 80-year-old woman. She is physically and mentally exhausted and her state is worrisome. The affection and friendships among us, the victims’ families, have been coalesced by the blood of our family members. Our affection is deep and our friendships are sincere, surpassing those among family members. But even this simple and unadorned affection has been deprived by the police in their detestable perversity and unreasonableness.

For 27 years, we, victims’ families, have rationally maintained our three appeals: truth, accountability, and compensation, in an effort to seek a just resolution to the miscarriage of justice of June Fourth. But the government has ignored us, pretending that the June Fourth Massacre that shocked the whole world never happened in China, and refusing to respond to our appeals, while our fellow countrymen gradually lose the memory of the event.

We must inform the world that this is the current reality of the living conditions of the June Fourth victims' families!

As everyone knows, the June Fourth tragedy resulted from the government’s flagrant mobilizing of the field army to kill peacefully protesting students and citizens. This was unprecedented in the history of China. If the government continues to not face the facts in good faith, and not resolve this problem from a legal perspective, then China will have difficulty preventing this type of tragedy from happening again in the future! Evidence proves that after the suppression of June Fourth the whole country was plagued with corruption from top to bottom, resulting in the current challenges in fighting corruption. 

A government that unscrupulously slaughters its own fellow citizens, a government that does not know how to cherish its own fellow citizens, and a government that forgets, conceals, and covers up the truth of historical suffering has no future—it is a government that is continuing to commit crimes!   

People need to live with dignity and die with dignity. As the families of victims, more than one-third of our individual lives have been lived under the shadow of our loved ones who were shot dead. But we live with strength and optimism—because we hold the firm belief that we need to struggle, work hard, and persevere. 

In the 27 years of suffering all kinds of hardships, abuse by the authorities, and intimidation, we have nothing left to fear. We are convinced that the June Fourth tragedy will inevitably reach a fair and just resolution—because the truth is on our side, and we have the vigorous support of the just and kind-hearted people of the whole world. 

We use our immense maternal love to declare publicly to future generations: do not succumb to brute force, confront all evil forces with courage, and justice will prevail! The June Fourth massacre will forever be etched into the history of the world—no amount of power can rub this out!

We persist, with our respects to those who previously fought alongside us and are now deceased, and condolences to loved ones of the victims of the June Fourth massacre! 

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