On the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre of 1989, relatives of the students killed when Chinese leaders deployed People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tanks and machine guns have once more called for justice.
The Tiananmen Mothers’ victims group has called on the administration of President Xi Jinping to make public the ruling Chinese Communist Party records from that time, and explain the chain of events that led to the deaths of their loved ones.
More than three decades ago, on the night of June 03 and 04, the PLA crushed a student-led protest in Tiananmen Square with brutality and superior force while the world was watching.
The group, in an annual open letter to China’s leaders, takes aim at the official silence surrounding the events of June 04 and the immediate aftermath, when hundreds, possibly thousands, died or were injured in the crackdown.
The letter, which carried 124 signatures, repeated the Tiananmen Mothers’ key demands of truth-telling, compensation and accountability from the ruling Chinese Communist Party over the incident.
Tiananmen Mothers founding member Zhang Xianling, whose 19-year-old son died in the military assault on Beijing, said the group has suffered through 31 years of government indifference to their loss.
“They owe us an explanation,” Zhang said. “Which individuals, which government agencies [were responsible], and what were the circumstances, and on what did they base the decision to commit such acts of murderous violence?”
“What laws did our children break, that they needed to be beaten to death and gunned down?”
The open letter also demanded to know which Chinese law permitted the government to kill students and other civilians for engaging in peaceful protest.
“Under China’s constitution, Chinese citizens should enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and protest,” the open letter said. “The party should stay true to its original intentions and properly implement the law.”
Zhang said Xi Jinping has frequently called on the ruling party not to forget its original intentions, and to strengthen the rule of law.
“So is the constitution worthless, not worth the paper it’s written on, in this country that supposedly has rule of law?” Zhang said.
She called on the international community to mark the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre on Thursday, June 04. (Source: RFA)