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HRIC Launches Podcast Interviews for June 4th Anniversary

June 2, 2006

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has launched a podcast series of interviews with participants of the 1989 Tiananmen Square movement. The podcasts, which can be downloaded as audio files from HRIC's Web site, include oral histories of the June 4th Tiananmen Square crackdown never previously made public. The interviews also explore the role of the democracy and independent labor movements in addressing challenges facing China.

Seventeen years after the violent crackdown in 1989, the Chinese government has yet to respond to demands for a full investigation and official accountability, compensation for the victims and their families and a reassessment of the crackdown. In the face of official Chinese propaganda and information control, HRIC aims to preserve a historical record as well as to support efforts promoting greater democracy and openness.

Podcasts of Chinese-language interviews with the following June 4th activists are currently available:

  • Ding Zilin, spokesperson for the Tiananmen Mothers, whose son was killed during the crackdown.
  • Han Dongfang, 1989 labor activist and currently head of China Labour Bulletin in Hong Kong.
  • Ma Shaofang, a student at the Beijing Film Academy, one of the organizers of the hunger strike in Tiananmen Square. He was imprisoned for three years on charges of counterrevolutionary incitement.
  • Lu Decheng, one of the individuals who splattered paint on the portrait of Mao Zedong that hangs over Tiananmen Square. He was sentenced to 16 years on charges of counterrevolutionary incitement and sabotage. He was recently granted asylum in Canada.
  • Cheng Zhen, one of the organizers of the hunger strike in Tiananmen Square, who provides a rare eyewitness account of two deaths in the Square during the early hours of June 4th.
  • Chang Jing, vice-president of the Peking University independent student union, who conducted surveys of the wounded and dead in Beijing hospitals following the June 4th crackdown.
  • Zhang Bin, who participated in the 1989 protests while employed at a travel agency. He was wounded by dumdum (hollow point) bullets during June 4th.

An English podcast of translated excerpts from a selection of the interviews is also available.

Future podcasts updated throughout the month of June will include interviews with the following individuals:

  • Wang Zhixin, a student organizer at the University of Political Science and Law, detained in December 1990 and held for more than two years.
  • Zhai Weimin, a student at the Beijing Institute of Economics who was detained in May 1990 while preparing to mark the first anniversary of June 4th.
  • Wang Youcai, an organizer at Peking University. He was imprisoned for four years, then sentenced to 11 years in 1998 for helping to organize the China Democracy Party. He was forced into exile in 2004 and is now studying in Chicago.
  • Xiong Yan, a graduate student of law at Peking University and a leader of the Students’ Dialogue Group. He was arrested on June 15, 1989 and held for 18 months without due process.
  • Zhou Fengsuo, a physics student at Tsinghua University and a member of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. Zhou was arrested in Xi’an on June 13, 1989 and imprisoned for one year
  • Meng Lang, former editor of the Shenzhen University Journal, now a poet living overseas.
  • Peng Rong, an organizer at Peking University. He was imprisoned for two years after organizing a commemoration on the first anniversary of June 4th at Peking University.
  • Zhou Fengsuo, a physics student at Tsinghua University, and a member of the Standing Committee of the Beijing Students Autonomous Federation. Zhou was arrested in Xi’an on June 13, 1989, and was imprisoned for one year.
  • A student from Hong Kong who went to Beijing in 1989 to support the movement.
  • A high school student who was sentenced to fourteen years imprisonment for his activities during the days of June 3rd and 4th.
  • And many others...

HRIC’s Web site will be regularly updated with additional podcast interviews in the coming weeks. For full instructions on subscribing and listening to HRIC’s June 4th podcast series, please visit http://hrichina.org/public/june4podcasts or http://www.64memo.org.

For further inquiries over the weekend, contact Stacy Mosher at (718) 439-0272 or (347) 276-0919 (New York), or Roseann Rife at (852) 6340-1139 (Hong Kong).

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