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Testimony of Du Dongxu, widow of Ma Chengfen

January 31, 1999

Ma Chengfen, female, a retired soldier, was born in 1934 and killed at the age of 55 by martial law troops at 11:00 p.m. on June 3, 1989, as she was sitting outside the No.4 Dormitory for Retired Officers of the PLA Political Bureau. The bullet struck her in the right side of her abdomen, making a wound 4-5 centimeters wide. She died on the morning of June 4, at Hospital No.304. Her ashes are buried at Jinshan Cemetery, with costs paid for by her family.


Testimony of Du Dongxu, widower of Ma Chengfen:

My wife was a retired veteran of the army. In 1934 she was born in Hebei Province. In 1949 she entered the military, and in 1951 she went to fight in the Korean War, serving three years without losing her life. When she returned to China, she was taken out of active service... In her old age she was senselessly killed by a bullet of the so-called People's Army. Ten years ago, in the 1989 Democracy Movement, a vast number of China's students and citizens rose up to protest corruption and to demand freedom and democracy, in the interests of the country's future. They also asked to have a dialogue with Li Peng, who was premier at the time. Li Peng not only refused to listen to the appeals of the people; on June 3 he unconscionably ordered tanks and troops into the city to use violence to stop the unarmed protesters.

We live in the No.4 Dormitory for Retired Officers of the PLA Political Bureau. This is in Baishiqiao neighborhood, on Fuxingmenwai Avenue, across from the Academy of Water Conservancy Sciences at Muxudi. Our house is about 200 meters away from the main road. On that day, retired cadres (several dozen) had gathered outside our building, outraged that the troops had opened fire on the people. At approximately 10:00 p.m., a military vehicle traveling from west to east suddenly came into the alley and mercilessly started shooting. My wife was sitting on the steps of the building, chatting with a group of old ladies and the elevator attendant. (I was standing about two meters away from them, talking to a retired cadre.) In the commotion, a bullet hit my wife in the lower right abdomen. Blood poured out of the wound, which was 4-5 centimeters in diameter. My wife instantly fell to the ground, gasping for breath. Her life was hanging by a thread; she needed to be rushed to the hospital for emergency care. However, cars were not allowed on the streets. We could only borrow a flatbed tricycle.

We took my wife to Hospital No.304 at a little past 11:00 p.m. Because there were so many people arriving at the hospital with bullet wounds, it was past 3:00 a.m. on June 4 when my wife was finally taken into the operating room. After an hour or so of hastily performed surgery, she was taken to a hospital room without being given supplemental oxygen. (I had already explained to the medical staff that she had been hospitalized for the previous two months for heart disease.) At that point, I didn't actually think the situation was serious. I thought that my wife had escaped the disaster. But little did we know that in fact she had already stopped breathing by the time they put her in the hospital bed. This came as such a shock to me and my children. I was so distraught that my own heart trouble started to recur. The doctor sent me back to the emergency room for treatment; it took me two hours to recover. Through connections at the retired officers' dormitory, my wife was cremated at Babaoshan Crematorium. Three years later, at my own cost, I had her remains buried at Jinshan Cemetery in the western suburbs of Beijing.

It has now been ten years since the June Fourth Massacre. As friends and family members of June Fourth victims, we write letters to the authorities every year, appealing for justice in the resolution of the June Fourth issue. In my own capacity, for the first two years following June Fourth, I myself wrote to China's leaders and the People's Liberation Army Political Bureau, asking for an explanation. It is an absolute fact that my wife was killed senselessly, but to the authorities, the significance of this fact has disappeared like a pebble thrown into the sea. Not only have I been denied a response, but I have also been repeatedly barred from contacting other June Fourth victims' families. Furthermore, the authorities continually make the brazen claim that "Not a single person died in Tiananmen Square." On the morning of June 4, when I left the emergency room and waited outside the hospital for a ride, I heard a nurse walking past me say, "I was utterly shocked; a tank near Wukesong was pulverizing a person into ground flesh!" At Hospital No.304 there were several dozen dead. There were even more dead at Fuxing Hospital and the Railway Hospital. This does not even include those who were killed on the street, or the bodies that were taken away by military vehicles or the corpses buried on the spot. If these were also included, the total number of those killed would be truly astounding.

Du Dongxu

 

 

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