Excerpted from Deutsche Presse-Agentur via Monsters and Critics:
The ruling Communist Party still claims that many innocent civilians and soldiers died in the crackdown, but it appeared that some civilians who were not protestors died at the hands of the army, and not all by accident.
Most deaths were near Muxidi about 4 kilometres west of the square, where protestors and other Beijing residents who sympathized with them tried to force troops to turn back.
Among those who died was Liu Jinhua, a 34-year-old woman who worked for the army as an administrator. In testimony to the New York-based group Human Rights in China, Liu's husband, Feng Youxiang, explained what happened to them.
'On the evening of June 3, 1989, my wife, Jinhua, and I went to fetch some medicine from my sister's in central Beijing,' Feng said.
'The city traffic was chaotic,' he said. 'On our way back, we heard gunshots and could not continue on our way, so we hid behind the west building of the Yanjing Hotel.'
'We thought that since we hadn't participated in the student rallies, we would not be targeted, but to our shock, government troops stopped at the hotel,' Feng said.
'We were sprayed with gunshot and fell in a pool of blood,' he said. 'A bullet went through my thigh and another into my wife's head, felling her instantly.'
The party continues to justify the crackdown as necessary to guarantee China's social stability and economic development over the subsequent 20 years.
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For more information on this issue, see:
- Human Rights in China, June Fourth Resources
- "Portraits of Lives Lost and the Quest for Justice," A video by the Tiananmen Mothers
- Human Rights in China, June Fourth Prisoner List, May 2009
- Human Rights in China, June Fourth Podcast Series
- Human Rights in China, “Tiananmen Mothers: Public Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre,” May 27, 2009