At the request of the Tiananmen Mothers, Human Rights in China issues the following essay by the group in remembrance of their loved ones who were killed in June Fourth 1989.
On the 27th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre
The Tiananmen Mothers
June 1, 2016
[Translation by Human Rights in China]
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!
尤维洁 You Weijie
郭丽英 Guo Liying
张彦秋 Zhang Yanqiu and 128 more Signatories