Tag Archives: June 4th

‘Did We Stand on the Side of Tank Man?’: An Interview with Teng Biao

Teng Biao

Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao. Getty Images

At a U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China hearing in Washington on the 26th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown this week, prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Teng Biao presented his listeners with a choice. Continue reading

China Clamps Down on Memorial Events Ahead of Tiananmen Crackdown Anniversary


A group of activists from the eastern Chinese province of Shandong gathers to mark the anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown on the pro-democracy movement, May 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of an activist.

Authorities in China have placed dozens of rights activists and dissidents under house arrest after they tried to mark the 27th anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown on student-led democracy protests on Tiananmen Square, while others have been ordered to leave town ahead of the politically sensitive June 4 anniversary.

Police in the eastern province of Shandong are holding retired university professor Sun Wenguang under house arrest after he tried to meet up with around 10 fellow veterans of the 1989 pro-democracy movement to mark the bloodshed that left an unknown number killed in the crackdown by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops.

Sun said his house arrest started after he and around 10 other activists made plans to hold a public discussion event marking the Tiananmen Square democracy movement and the subsequent crackdown on a local square.

The square was quickly cordoned off by police officers in four vehicles, who whisked Sun back to his home and placed him under house arrest, he told RFA.

“[My fellow activists] tried to come to my house, but there were about four police officers standing guard outside who wouldn’t let them in,” he said.

“Then more people arrived and they pushed their way through, and we held a brief event [in my home], and recorded it on video,” Sun said.

Beijing dinner blocked

In Beijing, police also prevented a group of activists from eating dinner together to mark the anniversary, they told RFA.

Around a dozen scholars, former officials and democracy activists had planned to get together to mark the June 4 anniversary a few weeks early, to avoid tight security in the Chinese capital at that time of year, Beijing democracy activist Zha Jianguo said.

“A couple of days beforehand, they contacted us to say we mustn’t go, and then on [May 19] there were a couple of police officers outside my door who tried to stop me leaving,” Zha said.

“I managed to push past them, but they just followed me.”

Former agricultural official Yao Jianfu said he hadn’t set out for the dinner after he received a message from police ordering him not to attend.

Bao Tong, a former aide to late premier Zhao Ziyang, whose ouster came at the height of the 1989 student movement, said he had no choice but to comply with the order.

“You have to comply; if they want to sentence you to jail, then that’s what they’ll do,” Bao said. “If they say ‘don’t go and eat dinner together,’ then if you do go, they’ll just bring you back again.”

Forced ‘vacation’ for Bao

Bao said in an earlier interview that police have also told him he must leave town with them on a forced “vacation” over the anniversary period.

“I think I’ll be going somewhere else, but where, I don’t know,” he said in an interview on Tuesday. “They told me to prepare my things, including medications and the like, but there has been no final confirmation.”

Meanwhile, members of the Tiananmen Mothers victims campaign group said they would be marking the anniversary with a visit to their loved ones’ graves.

Zhang Xianling, who lost her 19-year-old son Wang Nan during the crackdown, said she hasn’t heard from police, who usually accompany the family, about the arrangements yet.

“They haven’t started surveillance yet, nor have they been in touch for a chat,” Zhang said. “In previous years, they would have done so by now; I hope they’ve changed the way they do things this year.”

“But just because they haven’t come yet doesn’t mean they’re not coming at all.”

In the 26 years since the bloodshed, the group has repeatedly called for a reappraisal of the student-led democracy movement, which the government has styled a “counterrevolutionary rebellion.”

They want a public apology, compensation, the release of details of the crackdown held in secret by the government, and the political rehabilitation of victims and their families.

Zhang said she hopes to visit the Wan’an cemetery in a westerns suburb of Beijing, where her son’s ashes are held.

“We are old, and we are dying one by one, or getting sick, but that won’t stop us from carrying out memorial activities and from protesting,” she said.

“We are determined to keep doing that.”

In the central province of Hunan, activists from Zhuzhou city said they were called into a police station for questioning after they planned to wear black clothes with slogans commemorating June 4.

“The police … warned us not to carry out any activities of that kind,” activist Guo Sheng said following the questioning.

The death toll from the night of June 3-4, 1989, when PLA tanks and troops entered Beijing, clashing at times with civilians armed with makeshift weapons, remains unknown to this day.

While the Chinese government once put the death toll at “nearly 300,” it has never issued an official toll or list of names. Other estimates run in the thousands.

A 2009 map published by the Tiananmen Mothers listed more than 250 names garnered from confirmed eyewitness accounts and hospital records of those known to have died in the days after June 3.

Reported by Hai Nan for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Qiao Long for the Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

Source: http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/china-tiananmen-05262016142624.html

Tiananmen Protest Veteran on Hunger Strike in Zhengzhou Detention Center

Yu Shiwen with his wife Chen Wei

Yu Shiwen is shown with his wife Chen Wei in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of Chen Wei

A Chinese rights activist detained during an event marking the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre two years ago has begun refusing food in protest against his prolonged pretrial detention, sparking fears for his health, his wife and lawyer said. Continue reading

Kong Tsung Gan: June 4th Stands for the World’s Unfinished Business

Tiananmen64“The brazen cynicism and lack of courage of the governments of democratic countries have been deeply disheartening – whether they know it or not, they live in the shadow of June 4, their actions and decisions trapped in the dialectic events that day set in motion.” Continue reading

Charges Against Top Chinese Rights Lawyer Based on Seven Tweets


27377106-6133-46e2-bdff-33fdba938497Rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, who has been held on questionable charges since May 2014, in an undated file photo.
Authorities in the Chinese capital on Tuesday indicated for the first time that racial hatred and public order charges against a top human rights lawyer are based on a handful of his tweets, Continue reading

China’s President Praises Hu Yaobang, a Fallen Party Reformer

November 22, 2015

20huyaobang02-articleLarge-v2Students in Beijing on April 22, 1989, after the death of Hu Yaobang, who had been removed as Communist Party general secretary two years earlier. His death set off weeks of protests.
Catherine Henriette/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

China’s staunchly traditionalist Communist leader, Xi Jinping, paid tribute on Friday to a predecessor, Hu Yaobang, who was in many ways his opposite in temperament and politics.

Mr. Hu was a passionate liberalizer in the 1980s, Continue reading

Protester Held in Beijing Amid Tight Security on Hu Yaobang Anniversary


e69a5a15-7ca3-473e-8eed-44fc861cf10aCrowds watch the unveiling of a statue of Hu Yaobang in Taizhou, Zhejiang province, in a file photo.
As the ruling Chinese Communist Party elite marked the centenary of a late ousted premier famed for reversing many of the injustices of the regime, police on Tiananmen Square detained a blind activist from Shanghai after he handed out leaflets protesting against government corruption.

In the highest-level public recognition Continue reading

Family of Late Ousted Premier Denied Permission For Beijing Burial

8fcf5420-374e-4477-83c0-d47d8310183bA memorial to Zhao Ziyang and his wife at their family residence in Beijing, in an undated photo.
Photo courtesy of a family member

Authorities in China’s capital have turned down an application for a burial plot for the ashes of late ousted premier Zhao Ziyang and his wife, as dozens of activists and ordinary Chinese marked his birthday at the weekend.

Well-wishers gathered on Oct. 17 at Zhao’s Beijing residence to remember a Continue reading