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A Dozen People Still Missing Since June 4th, Say Tiananmen Mothers

March 3, 2003

For Immediate Release

Human Rights in China (HRIC) has received a copy of an open letter issued by the Tiananmen Mothers calling on China' s National People' s Congress (NPC) to urge the Chinese government to engage in a dialogue to resolve issues relating to June 4th.

The letter is signed by Ding Zilin and 114 others who are victims or family members of victims of the brutal crackdown on pro-Democracy demonstrators in 1989. The full text of the open letter is appended to HRIC' s Chinese-language press release.

The open letter presents three demands to the new standing committee of the NPC:

  • Establish an investigatory body to conduct an independent inquiry into the massacre and publicize its findings, including a comprehensive list providing the number and names of those killed.
  • Push the government to provide a full report to each family of those killed, and offer appropriate legal and financial remedies.
  • Request the procuratorates to investigate which members of the leadership were responsible for the tragedy and make them legally accountable.

This open letter reveals for the first time that a substantial number of people are still missing following the violent crackdown. According to the Tiananmen Mothers, available information identifies at least twelve people whose whereabouts remain unknown since the events of that time. These individuals appear to have vanished into thin air, leaving their families suspended in hope and dread for nearly 14 years. The open letter calls on the Chinese government to give a full accounting of the fates of these people, and if any are found to be dead, to turn over their remains to their families.

HRIC fully and unconditionally supports the lawful and reasonable demands of the Tiananmen Mothers in their open letter. HRIC president Liu Qing observes, "The Chinese government cannot simply claim that the matter has ended with the deaths of those protestors. The government should be accountable for its actions and offer appropriate compensation, and should put an end to the torment of the families still searching for their missing loved ones. It' s time to settle the June 4th question once and for all and put an end to the disquiet that has plagued these families and society as a whole over the past 14 years."

HRIC urges the Chinese government to resolve all outstanding matters relating to June 4th so it can learn from its mistakes and help China move ahead unfettered by the crimes and errors of the past.

For more information, contact:
Stacy Mosher (English) 212-268-9074
Liu Qing (Chinese) 212-239-4495

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