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Testimony of Xu Jue, mother of Wu Xiangdong

January 31, 1999

Wu Xiangdong, male, born August 13, 1968, 21 when he was killed; worked at the No. 4 Workshop of the Beijing East Wind Television Factory and was a third-year student of business management at the Beijing Instrument and Meter Workers' University. Wu Xiangdong was shot at about 11:00 p.m. on June 3, 1989, in the area of Muxudi Bridge, and died early on June 4 in Fuxing Hospital. His ashes are buried in Babaoshan Public Cemetery in the western suburbs of Beijing.


Testimony of Xu Jue, Wu Xiangdong's mother:
At 8:00 p.m. on June 3, Xiangdong went out to take his girlfriend home and did not return. At about 9:00 p.m. on the same day he was shot by People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers on Chang'an Boulevard near Fuxingmen Bridge. Fellow-citizens rushed him to Fuxing Hospital hoping to save his life, but he died early on June 4.

On the evening of June 3, Xiangdong's father and I waited for our son, and when he did not return, we went to Chang'an Boulevard to look for him and waited with increasing anxiety in front of a store. By 5:00 a.m. on June 4, our son had still not returned. We decided to go by bicycle to look for him around Tiananmen. As we drew near, we saw a crowd of students: it was a tragic sight, as some were wounded and others were carrying those who had been crushed by tanks. Our hearts began to burn with fear but we could only get on our bikes and ride towards Xidan, where the sights were even more tragic and shocking. Chang'an Boulevard was streaked with blood; the remains of those crushed by tanks lay in heaps; the windows of the shops along the boulevard were shot out. On walls and windows everywhere people had written in blood, "Down with the Fascists!" As we went toward Xinhuamen, we witnessed a tragic stand-off between unarmed citizens and tanks and armored personnel carriers lined up on Chang'an Boulevard. The people faced the tanks with cries of "Down with Fascism! Spilled blood is a debt which must be repaid in blood!"

How tragic it was! Who instigated the bloodshed along Beijing's magnificent three-mile-long Chang'an Boulevard? Trembling, we circled around Xuanwumen to Qianmen and the walls all along the way were pocked with bullet holes. At Qianmen, we found that the soldiers had already surrounded Tiananmen so tightly that no one could get through; people on the street advised us to make the rounds of the hospitals. The students had long since left Tiananmen. It was already noon on June 4. As we made our way along the streets, we saw that army vehicles which had parked there early in the morning had now been set ablaze.

We went from hospital to hospital - the Children's Hospital, People's Hospital, Fuwai Hospital - at each entrance there were lists of the dead and wounded, long, densely-written lists with many names, perhaps 400, on each list. People crowded around, trying to find the names of missing relatives. We looked through many lists without finding our son's name, and also went into the hospitals to look for him among the unidentified corpses. It was pitiful, a blur of blood and flesh, young bodies with wild, staring eyes. But our son was not among them.

At the suggestion of many people we met, we finally went to Fuxing Hospital. It was already past 5:30 p.m. We saw a long line of people stretching along Fuxing Hospital's bicycle racks, all waiting to see the bodies of the victims, which were laid out there. We looked at the list of names; at the top of the list was "Wu Xiangdong." I somehow thought it was a list of those wounded and turned to the people around me to ask which ward he would be in? A young man ran up and said, "All 50 people on this list are among the bodies laid out along the bicycle racks." In an instant, I fell over in a dead faint.

When I regained consciousness, I was lying on a hospital bench. I was jolted by a huge noise, the sound of random shots which rattled the hospital windows. Later I found out it was the citizenry resisting the efforts of the martial law troops to seize the bodies of the victims. I jumped up, intending to rush out to find my son's body. The hospital personnel tried to assist me, saying, "Just look quickly and go right home-soldiers are coming in the evening to seize the bodies. They want to destroy the evidence." As I went towards my son's body, I saw crowded around me the tragic remains of angry young heroes. I saw my son's body and began to embrace him, screaming, "Xiangdong, wake up, wake up, Mama's here!" I wanted to hold my son, who had been unjustly persecuted and killed, to kiss my gifted son who seemed to have looked death in the face without flinching: he was pale and his eyes were wide open. However, I had only just embraced my son when several sturdy young doctors helped me up. I screamed and struggled, trying to push away the hands that were helping me away from him.

After I had come out of the hospital, many ordinary people on the street tried to comfort me. One young man said to me, "Your son was an example for all of us. We are all your sons now! Spilled blood is a debt which must be repaid in blood!" A taxi-driver took us home for free. On June 7, as 30,000 martial law troops patrolled the city, with the help of many work-units and many friends, we risked our lives and took Xiangdong's body secretly to the crematorium in the eastern suburbs to be burned as quickly as possible. In the jeep I noticed that the traces of blood on his body had not been scrubbed off. When we changed his clothes, we saw that the bullet had entered his neck over the left clavicle and had exited through his spine. The wound where the bullet entered was 1-2 centimeters, and, where it had exited, 2-3 centimeters. The flesh around the wound was so scorched that it looked even larger than it was.

My son was taken away so hastily from his father and mother! No, he has not died but will live forever in our hearts. His short 21-year-long life will burn brightly! In May, on Tiananmen, my son wrote a letter to be read in case of his death, which said, "Each one of us is responsible for the fate of our country! Even if I were to die in striking down bureaucracy and corruption, in trying to achieve democracy and freedom, I would have no regrets..." He gave his life in keeping the promise made before his death.

At the end of September, we bought a plot at Babaoshan Public Cemetery. On the day we interred his remains there, his younger brother, Wu Shengdong, rode a yellow bicycle on which he carried his brother's ashes; this served as a hearse. I wore white mourning clothes and followed Shengdong closely on my own bike. On the way, we saw Chang'an Boulevard full of soldiers in helmets, martial law troops armed with assault rifles. In this atmosphere of terror we buried our son's ashes. We erected a tablet for him, on which the characters were engraved in red and black. "The grave of Wu Xiangdong, born August 13, 1968, died on June 4, 1989" was written in red, and "This tablet erected by his father Wu Xuehan and his mother Xu Jue" was written in black.

But who would have thought that by November 1995, the words written in black on our son's tablet, "His father Wu Xuehan" would have to be changed to red? His father followed our son out of this life. This good-hearted, simple man in the prime of life was so wounded by the tragedy that he became depressed and tormented by regrets, contracted a fatal illness and passed away. Before his death he had begun to search for justice, and had made several official entreaties without any results. Several years before we had joined an organization of families of the victims of June 4, and he gained a lot of strength from this association. He had taken part in activities to help others in the group and together they raised their voices to demand justice. But because of these activities we also attracted the attention of the Public Security Bureau which has kept us under surveillance ever since. Where is justice in this world? No wonder human life can be treated as a mere trifle and laws can be brushed aside like so many children's toys when a butcher like Li Peng, who deliberately runs rough-shod over human lives, goes scot-free and behaves with complete impunity!

We, the families of victims of June 4, have been appealing to China's highest organs of power for five years, but those so-called "Committee Members and Heads of Committees" have consistently ignored our demands. Now we have awakened and stood up. Justice belongs to mankind and to the world, and we are requesting justice for our dead relatives from the world, from the United Nations and human rights organizations worldwide, that they might use international law to punish the chief culprit in the murder of innocent people, Li Peng! May the light of truth illuminate all the corners of the world!

Xu Jue

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