Skip to content Skip to navigation

Testimony of You Weijie, widow of Yang Minghu

January 31, 1999

Yang Minghu, male, born February 1, 1947, killed at age 42; before his death, he was a staff member of the legal department of the patent section of the China Trade Promotion Commission; before dawn, at about 2:00am on June 4, 1989, he received a gunshot wound at Nanchizi that split his bladder into pieces and shattered his pelvis; he died at 8:00 a.m. on June 6 at Beijing Tongren Hospital, when efforts to save his life were to no avail; his ashes rest at Wanan Cemetery in the western suburbs. Testimony of You Weijie, widow of Yang Minghu:
In the early morning of June 4, at 1:00 a.m., Yang Minghu left the house. We had heard gunfire and gone downstairs together, where we heard our neighbors coming back from Xidan say that something was happening on the streets. Yang Minghu was worried about the students remaining in Tiananmen Square and decided to go out and have a look. He didn't believe that the people's army could use machine guns and tanks against unarmed civilians. He left the house by bicycle and went to Nanchizi on the western side of Tiananmen and stood on the side of east Chang'an Boulevard with the rest of the crowd.

Around 2:30 a.m., the martial law troops burst forth from the public security bureau compound and fired into the crowd. Yang Minghu was struck by a bullet, and after 3:00 a.m. the people took him by flatbed tricycle to Tongren Hospital. He was wounded in his bladder, which was shot to pieces, and his pelvis was shattered. The hospital sewed up his bladder. But because his pelvis was so shattered and some capillaries were destroyed, the doctors had no way of operating on him. Yang Minghu's spirit struggled with death for two days and two nights in the hospital. During this time, he bled away the blood transfusions that were given to him. Finally, on June 6, at 8 o'clock, he died of an infection in his abdominal cavity and heart failure. Immediately before his death, in a feeble voice from deep within his chest, he apologized to me, saying "Forgive me! Forgive me!" He didn't have the strength to say more.

Yang Minghu died with many regrets, because he was in the prime of life, because there was so much he needed to do and especially because his death struck such a huge blow to his family. At that time, we had a young child, and together we planned to raise and educate him. Now that burden falls on me alone. Our child early on lost his father's love, early on had to deal with the kind of emotional wounds no child should have to bear. At the time of Minghu's death, my child was not quite five years old, just at the stage of becoming aware, yet he would never be able to be educated by his father. At the factory where I work, business is bad, the factory is changing and from my perspective, the difficulty of shouldering the burden of a child's education by myself is beyond words. The bloody reality of June Fourth shocks me, and I am appalled that the government would employ such brutal and cruel methods against its own people.

You Weijie
January 28, 1999

Explore Topics

Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention Arbitrary Detention Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue
Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship Children Chinese Law
Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists Citizen Participation Civil Society Communist Party Of China
Consumer Safety Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current and Political Events Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Enforced Disappearance Environment Ethnic Minorities EU-China Family Planning
Farmers Freedom of Association Freedom of Expression Freedom of Press Freedom of Religion Government Accountability
Government regulation Government transparency Heilongjiang Lawyers’ Detention Historical Anecdotes Hong Kong House Arrest
Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights updates Ideological Contest Illegal Search And Detention Inciting Subversion Of State Power
Information Control  Information technology Information, Communications, Technology (ICT) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) International Human Rights International Relations
International Window Internet Internet Governance Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping
Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System
Legal World Letters from the Mainland Major Event (Environment, Food Safety, Accident, etc.) Mao Zedong Microblogs (Weibo) National People's Congress (NPC)
New Citizens Movement Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Olympics Online Activism Open Government Information Personal Story
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Propaganda
Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor Rights Defenders
Rights Defense Rule Of Law Special Topic State compensation State Secrets State Security
Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories Tiananmen Mothers Tibet
Torture Typical cases United Nations Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups Women
Youth Youth Perspective