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Testimony of Fang Zheng, wounded

January 31, 1999

Fang Zheng, male, born October 14, 1966 in Hefei City, Anhui. In 1985 Fang was accepted to the Beijing Academy of Physical Science as a student of sports physiology. He graduated in 1989.

Testimony of Fang Zheng, wounded:

I was a senior about to graduate in 1989 when the student-led movement for democracy in Beijing began. During the student movement, I was actively involved as an officer of my school's student organization. On June 3, 1989, I was in Tiananmen Square. From that night when martial law troops began the massacre in Beijing, until the early hours of June 4, other students and I held a sit-in in the Square, surrounding the Monument to the People's Heroes. At that time, there were about 4,000 of us there, students from various universities.

At around 2:00 a.m. on June 4, many of the martial law troops that had rampaged through Beijing's suburbs converged around Tiananmen Square. Forced out by tanks and troops, the students participating in the sit-in finally left the square at around 4:00 a.m. With hearts heavy with grief and indignation, the students left the Square from the southeast corner in a peaceful and orderly fashion. I was walking at the back of the crowd. The crowd of students proceeded along in a westerly direction crossing west Qianmen Boulevard (along a road which runs north-south near the Beijing Music Hall linking west Qianmen Boulevard and west Chang'an Boulevard) and then turned into west Chang'an Boulevard and continued walking towards the west. By this time it was already daybreak, about 6:00 a.m. The students kept to the south side of west Chang'an Boulevard, walking on the sidewalk and in the bicycle lane. Just after we turned from west Chang'an Boulevard to Liubukou, many grenades were fired towards the crowd from behind. They immediately exploded among the marching students. One went off just beside me. A two-to-three meter layer of smoke quickly engulfed us. A female student walking next to me suddenly fainted, choking and in shock. I rushed to pick her up and take her to the side of the street.

At this time I realized that a tank was racing toward us, traveling from east to west. With all my force, I tried to push the woman towards the guard rail by the sidewalk. In the blink of an eye, the tank was approaching the sidewalk and closing in on me. It seemed as if the barrel of its gun was inches from my face. I could not dodge it in time. I threw myself to the ground and began to roll. But it was too late. My upper body fell between two treads of the tank, but both my legs were run over. The treads rolled over my legs and my pants, and I was dragged for a distance. I used all my strength to break free and to roll to the side of the road. At that time I lost consciousness. Only later did I learn that Beijing residents and students brought me to Jishuitan Hospital, where I underwent a double amputation. My right leg was amputated, leaving just two-thirds of my right thigh. My left leg was amputated five centimeters below the knee.

I was hospitalized until June 24, 1989. Sometime around June 11, the Xicheng District Public Security Bureau began an investigation into my case. After I left the hospital and returned to school, school officials continued to question and check up on me for several months. They wanted me to keep quiet about the fact that a tank had crushed students. But I refused. The woman I had pushed out of the path of the tank (she was one of the classes below me at the Beijing Academy of Physical Science) was compelled by school authorities to deny this brutal reality. Because I would not cooperate in this way, my school refused the reach a conclusion on my case and ultimately they canceled my job assignment.

But I still did not leave Beijing. In March 1992, I represented Beijing by participating in the third All-China Disabled Athletic Games in Guangzhou, winning two gold medals and breaking two records for the Far East and South Pacific region. Later because it was difficult to make a living in Beijing, I went to Haikou to earn a living, with the help of a woman from my hometown. I am still living in Haikou today.

In 1994 when Beijing hosted the Far East and South Pacific Disabled Games, I was supposed to compete in the qualifying rounds to be selected to represent China in this international competition. But because I was disabled in the "June Fourth Incident," I was denied this opportunity to compete. This matter was reported in detail in the New York Times on September 5, 1994.

During my years in Haikou, the local Public Security Bureau has kept me under close surveillance. In late May 1995, a few June Fourth activists came to Haikou and I met with them. For no reason, my home was searched and everyone was detained. From that time onwards, my regular life was often disrupted by harassment by the Public Security Bureau. Public Security officers regularly come to my home and interrogate me, causing great difficulties for my life and business.

Since my injury, because I sit in a wheelchair, my lower back gets very sore. I experience agonizing pain in the nerves in my thighs. This has all caused me and my family infinite pain and emotional distress.

Fang Zheng