On the eve of the 22nd anniversary of the June Fourth crackdown, the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of 127 family members of those killed and injured, revealed that public security personnel visited one family several times in recent months to discuss payment in order to “resolve” the June Fourth issue.
These visits were the first official response from Chinese authorities to the group since 1995, when it began appealing to the government for truth, compensation, and accountability for the violence committed against peaceful demonstrators.
“June Fourth remains a vital issue for Chinese society today because past impunity fuels ongoing human rights abuses and growing social unrest,” said Sharon Hom, Executive Director of Human Rights in China (HRIC) . “The Chinese government cannot use divisive tactics to evade the demands for justice raised collectively by the victims and their relatives. Employing public security personnel – the same apparatus that has been used to monitor, harass, and intimidate the Tiananmen Mothers – to offer payment, adds further insult to the memory of all those who died.”
HRIC supports the Tiananmen Mothers’ call for a genuine resolution to the June Fourth issues – that is, compensation must be given to all victims’ families and must be accompanied by an official and public accounting of the government’s actions in 1989. HRIC urges the Chinese authorities to undertake concrete actions to respond to the reasonable and just demands of all the members of the Tiananmen Mothers – open a dialogue with the victims and their families, conduct a fair and impartial investigation into the crackdown, provide explanations for each case, offer compensation to all the families, and bring to justice those responsible for the deaths.
HRIC urges the international community to show its support for the cause of the Tiananmen Mothers by signing an online petition at www.fillthesquare.org. (For the Chinese language petition, go to: www.fillthesquare.org/chn.) HRIC will convey your support to the Tiananmen Mothers.
For more information on June Fourth and the Tiananmen Mothers, see:
- “‘The Souls of Those Killed during June Fourth Shall Not Be Defiled; Their Families Shall Not Be Dishonored’: Essay by the Tiananmen Mothers,” May 30, 2011
- “‘An Offering to the Spirits of the Victims’: Essay by the Tiananmen Mothers,” June 1, 2010
- “Tiananmen Mothers: Public Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre,” May 27, 2009
- Let Our Children’s Lives Continue through Us: Interview with Ding Zilin, China Rights Forum, 2009, no. 2
- “‘Tiananmen Mothers’ Publish Maps Including Locations of June Fourth Victims’ Deaths,” May 27, 2008