Skip to content Skip to navigation

“June Fourth at 25: Resisting Enforced Amnesia, Building a Just Future”

April 10, 2014

Today, HRIC launches a new advocacy initiative: “June Fourth at 25: Resisting Enforced Amnesia, Building a Just Future.”

Since the military crackdown on the 1989 Democracy Movement, known as June Fourth, HRIC has provided advocacy support and solidarity to individuals and groups—particularly the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of family members of June Fourth victims and survivors—who have worked to hold the Chinese authorities accountable for their violence against unarmed and peaceful civilians.

“June Fourth at 25” builds upon HRIC’s existing program activities relating to June Fourth, including press work, translation, production of multimedia resources, and participation in commemorative events.

The lead component of the initiative is the “Records of Visits and Interviews with Families of June Fourth Victims,” a collection of stories about 16 June Fourth victims and one survivor, written by members of the Tiananmen Mothers based on their visits and interviews with the victims’ families that began in fall 2013.

Last year, following the 24th anniversary of June Fourth, the Tiananmen Mothers asked themselves:

In all these years, and through all the energy and effort we had expended, we had not been able to get justice for our loved ones, or slow the pace of old age or sickness among our fellow family members who had shared in our common struggle over all these years. . . .  What should we do for those who have passed away? And how should we commemorate the lost souls of June Fourth?

Their answer was to document the lives and deaths of the victims as a way to honor them and to continue to press for justice.

In fall 2013, several members of the group, organized in small teams, embarked on their journeys to many different provinces and municipalities in a wide swath of China. Ding Zilin has described these visits as “rare and weighty journeys that made possible direct heart-to- heart exchanges.”

HRIC is presenting these moving and heartbreaking stories, in Chinese original and English translation, between now and June 4, 2014, beginning with the following three items:

Introduction to the “Records of Visits and Interviews with Families of June Fourth Victims”
by Ding Zilin

“There is Always a Wound in My Heart—How Can I Forget?”
by You Weijie and Wu Lihong

The story of Tian Daoming (田道), 22, male, a senior in the Department of Management of the University of Science and Technology Beijing, originally from Shishou City, Hubei Province. He was crushed to death by a tank in the early morning of June 4, 1989.

Son of the Earth—Chen Yongting
by You Weijie

The story of Chen Yongting (陈永廷), 20, male, a student at the Department of Economics of the Central Institute for Nationalities (中央民族学院). He was the first and only person from a poor, remote mountain village in the Youyang Miao and Tujia Autonomous County outside of Chongqing, to go to college. He was shot to death on Tiananmen Square the night of June 3, 1989.

Click here to see all the essays published to date.

Collectively, these stories constitute powerful documentation of the innocent lives lost in a government-orchestrated tragedy. They also strengthen the foundation that the Tiananmen Mothers have courageously built over the past decades, upon which to press for government accountability.

Explore Topics

709 Crackdown Access to Information Access to Justice Administrative Detention All about law Arbitrary Detention
Asset Transparency Bilateral Dialogue Black Jail Book Review Business And Human Rights Censorship
Charter 08 Children Chinese Law Circumvention technology Citizen Activism Citizen Journalists
Citizen Participation Civil Society Commentary Communist Party Of China Constitution Consumer Safety
Contending views Corruption Counterterrorism Courageous Voices Cultural Revolution Culture Matters
Current affairs Cyber Security Daily Challenges Democratic And Political Reform Demolition And Relocation  Dissidents
Education Elections 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 Hong Kong House Arrest HRIC Translation
Hukou Human Rights Council Human rights developments 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 perspective International Relations
Internet Internet Governance JIansanjiang lawyers' rights defense Judicial Reform June Fourth Kidnapping
Labor Camps Labor Rights Land, Property, Housing Lawyer's rights Lawyers Legal System
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 One country, two systems Online Activism Open Government Information Personal stories
Police Brutality Political commentary Political Prisoner Politics Prisoner Of Conscience Probing history
Propaganda Protests And Petitions Public Appeal Public Security Racial Discrimination Reeducation-Through-Labor
Rights Defenders Rights Defense Rule Of Law Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Special Topic State compensation
State Secrets State Security Subversion Of State Power Surveillance Technology Thoughts/Theories
Tiananmen Mothers Tibet Torture Typical cases United Nations US-China 
Uyghurs, Uighurs Vulnerable Groups Women Youth Youth Perspective