2006-05-30 15:01:17

Chinese government should revise its views about the student movement, punish culprits , say “Tiananmen Mothers” group.

(May 30, 2006) In an open letter published by Human Rights in China, just a few days before June 4, the 17th anniversary of the day that saw blood flow in Beijing, the Tiananmen Mothers call on the Chinese government to accept the historical need to review its condemnation of the Tiananmen Square student movement. They also demand an inquiry into the massacre that ended the movement and punishment for the culprits ,as well as compensation and assistance for the families of the victims. The ‘Tiananmen Mothers’ is a group made up of the relatives of 125 victims of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre. On that day, the Chinese army, backed by tanks, stormed the square killing defenceless demonstrators who for a month had been calling for democracy and an end of corruption in Chinese society. The government has never released any official tally for the carnage but outside groups have estimated that the number of those killed runs in the thousands. The Tiananmen Mothers are led by a retired university professor, Mrs Ding Zilin, who lost her 17-year-old son in the June 4 slaughter. The Tiananmen Mothers want the authorities to resolve some specific issues such as stop monitoring and restricting the freedom of survivors and their families; End interferences with humanitarian aid to the victims and their families from China and abroad ; Provide humanitarian assistance to those who continue to suffer psychologically or financially from the crackdown; Remove political and social stigma on victims, and restore the rights and physical welfare of those detained, imprisoned, made jobless or otherwise victimised for their participation in the 1989 pro-democracy movement. Beijing has so far failed to respond to any of the Tiananmen Mothers’ requests, except to place them under house arrest every year on the eve the massacre’s anniversary.

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