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Families of June 4 victims demand accountability

March 1, 2002

In an open letter released today, 114 relatives of June 4th Massacre victims are demanding that Li Peng, widely believed to have ordered the massacre, be held legally accountable, and that the official verdict on June 4th be overturned. The letter is addressed to the National Peoples Congress (NPC) before the opening of the 5th Session of the 9th NPC on March 3 in Beijing. Complaints filed with the Supreme People’s Procuratorate have gone unanswered, leading the families to appeal to the NPC, the most powerful government body under the Chinese Constitution.

Human Rights in China actively supports the appeal, and calls upon the NPC to fulfill its legal responsibilities and issue a response. To uphold justice and bring closure to June 4th will honor the rule of law, and will also prove beneficial to China’s long-term development. Human Rights in China also calls on NPC representatives to acknowledge that resolving June 4th would have a lasting positive effect on China’s development.

To ensure that a previous appeal was received in May of 1999, two of the signers had waited outside the Supreme People’s Procuratorate until an official came outside to receive the complaint. During the 10-year memorial held for June 4th victims that year, Human Rights in China initiated a publicity campaign and held a press conference. Ding Zilin, and other relatives of victims attended via telephone to offer their testimony and respond to questions from journalists.


An Open Letter to the 5th Session of the 9th National People’s Congress

Dear Honorable Representatives:

As we approach the 13th anniversary of the June 4th Massacre, we remain convinced that you still remember the innocents who lost their lives in this terrible tragedy. Some of them were possibly neighbors of yours, or maybe even co-workers. Some of you were possibly fellow students, or maybe even relatives. Even if the victims were not close to you, they were certainly born of the same flesh and blood.

We write you this letter today as the parents, brothers, sisters, and loved ones of those who wrongly lost their lives, became disabled, or were injured in this tragedy.

Our objective is clear: We seek fair and impartial legal accountability for those who lost their lives in the massacre.

In May of 1999, in accordance with the Constitution and criminal procedure law we submitted a request to the Supreme People's Procuratorate requesting a thorough investigation into the June 4th Massacre. We also requested that Li Peng be investigated to see if he held any legal accountability. Over the past two years, we wrote to the Supreme People's Procuratorate twice . We have been met with nothing but silence. This does not seem normal for a country ruled by law with an active Constitution.

We hereby request that closure finally be brought to this tragedy. Do you not believe that those who are responsible for ordering the massacre should be held legally accountable and brought to trial? As representatives who represent the interests of the citizenry, we believe this question is not difficult for you to answer.

As relatives and loved ones of the victims, we request that you, our representatives entrusted with the power of the constitution, who effectively supervise all government, immediately respond to our request.

According to our criminal procedure law , any Procuratorate shall immediately open a new investigation when it receives a legitimate complaint. These investigations ensure that those responsible will be prosecuted and brought to justice. If a complaint is not pursued, than an explanation should be offered to those who filed it.

We believe that law and the Constitution are holy, and that all citizens have the duty and obligation to file complaints concerning any criminal activity. All citizens are equal under the law. When a government official breaks the law, they must be held legally accountable and prosecuted.

Over the past 13 years, an enormous amount of evidence has been collected about June 4th. The truth of the Massacre has been exposed and those responsible are under the gaze of the masses. This proves the complaint we filed three years ago with the Supreme People’s Court is unavoidable and timely; it is also proof that the Supreme People’s Procuratorate illegally turned a deaf ear to our legitimate request for legal accountability.

We are obligated to reiterate our charges against Li Peng. We will not relax until he is brought to trial in a court of law.

The June 4th Massacre is the most ruthless outrage in the past hundred years of Chinese history. It is one of the most tragic events of the 20th Century. There has been no closure for this tragedy. It continues to be a living nightmare, a heavy burden on the conscience of all Chinese citizens. Until the day when a public investigation is conducted into June 4th, wounds will not heal, and China will not move from darkness into the light and enjoy modern civilization.

We appeal to 5th Session of the 9th National People’s Congress to uphold justice and fairly resolve this issue.

We the undersigned,

Ding Zilin, Zhang Xianling, Zhou Shuzhuang, Li Xuewen, Xu Jue, Guo Liying,You Weijie; Yin Min; Gao Jie; Du Dongxu; Song Xiuling; Yu Qing; Jiang Peikun; Wang Fandi; Yuan Kezhi; Duan Hongbing; Zhao Tingjie; Qian Putai; Wu Dingfu; Sun Chengkang; Kuang Diqing; Huang Jinping; He Tianfeng; Meng Shuying; Yuan Shumin; Liu Meihua; Xie Jinghua; Zhou Shuzhen; Ma Xueqin; Kuang Ruirong; Zhang Yanqiu; Zhang Shusen; Yang Darong; Liu Xiuchen; Shen Guifang; Xie Jingrong; Song Ning; Wang Guoxian; Wang Wenhua; Jin Zhenyu; Meng Jinxiu; Yao Furong; Sun Xiuzhi; Meng Shuzhen; Tian Shuling; Kou Yusheng; Wang Guirong; Tan Hanfeng; Sun Hengyao; Zhou Yan; Li Guiying; Xu Baoyan; Liu Chunlin; Di Mengqi; Yang Yinshan; Guan Weidong; Suo Xiunv; Liu Shuqin;Wang Peijing; Wang Shuanglan; Zhang Zhenxia; Zhu Zhidi; Liu Tianyuan; Pan Muzhi; Huang Dingying; He Ruitian; Cheng Shuzhen; Zhang Yaozu; Bao Yutian; Ya Weilin; Hao Yichuan; Xiao Changyi; Ren Jinbao; Lin Jingpei; Tian Weiyan; Yang Zhiyu; Qi Guoxiang; Li Xianyuan; Zhang Caifeng; Wang Yuqin; Han Shuxiang; Cao Changxian; Fang Zheng; Qi Zhiyong; Feng Youxiang; He Xingcai; Liu Ren’an; Li Shujuan; Xiong Hui; Han Guogang; Shi Feng; Zhou Zhigang; Pang Meiqing; Huang Ning; Wang Bodong; Zhang Zhiqiang; Zhao Jinsuo; Kong Weizhen; Liu Baodong; Lu Yubao; Lu Masheng; Qi Zhiying; Fang Guizhen; Xiao shulan; Ge Guirong; Zheng Xiucun; Wang Huirong; Xing Chengli; Gui Delan; Wang Yunqi; Huang Xuefeng; Wang Lin; Liu Qian; Zhu Yingrong

A total of 114 signatures