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Testimony of Zhang Zhenxia, mother of Ya Aiguo

January 31, 1999

Ya Aiguo, male, was born on January 10, 1967, and died aged 22. He was unemployed. A bullet went through his skull at 10:00pm on June 3, 1989. His ashes were buried in his home town, Tianjin.

Testimony of Zhang Zhenxia, mother of Ya Aiguo:

On June 3, 1989, my son brought home some pork and asked me to make dumplings for dinner. Then he went out with his girlfriend to shop for a pair of shoes in preparation for an outing the next day. Who would have thought that he would never come back?

On the night of June 3, the army started its killing spree and bullets were flying in all directions. I was in the district of Gongzhufen and thought of going to look for my son, but with so many people on the streets, where would I begin my search? There was nothing I could do but go home. By the next day, June 4, my son had still not come home. What could I do? I was alone at home, so I asked his schoolmates and friends to search for him at every hospital. I myself went to the Navy Hospital and was told that they would help search for those who had survived, but could do nothing about those who had been killed. Did this mean that there was no way of finding the dead? It was outrageous! Could it be that they intended to cremate the corpses collectively? I went to the Water Conservancy Hospital, the Hospital No.304 and the People's Hospital. It was such a mess at the People's Hospital. Corpses lay everywhere. Where there was no more space, they were left in sacks in the garage. The bodies were of all ages-adults, children, young men and women. It was difficult to identify them by looking at their faces. I spent the whole day searching in vain.

On June 5, I finally found my son's body at the Hospital No.301. It was in the morgue and was relatively intact. A doctor told me that a bullet had gone through his skull and that he could not have been saved. I passed out upon hearing the news. My innocent and lively son had been killed, along with so many other compatriots. The leaders had committed such a heinous crime that the infamy of their names will be recorded in history forever.

My son's ashes were placed in Babaoshan Cemetery. We visit him twice a year. In 1991, when my husband, my son's girlfriend and I went to the cemetery, we had only been there a few minutes when we were taken by the police to their station. They were afraid that we would cause a disturbance. They offered us cigarettes and showed us some color video tapes. They tried to interrogate us. Apparently they had a guilty conscience. With a twig I scratched the following words on the ground: "Pen and paper will speak in a thousand years. The children and grandchildren will eventually settle the score." They asked me to whom I was referring. I said to settle the score with whoever had killed my son. They did not pursue the subject any further and let us go.

We used to be a very happy family. Each of my two sons had a steady girlfriend. After June Fourth, happiness abandoned our family. I suffered from extreme stress and could not go to work for six months. My husband has had a heart problem for about ten years. They were very sad and difficult times. Now I have thought it through. If I died today, who would demand justice for my son? I will keep myself healthy and continue to argue with them about my son's case. There must be some place in this world where justice can be upheld. I will keep on trying until the day justice is done.

My son's ashes were in Babaoshan Cemetery for three years. I have since taken them back to my home town. I have a doctor's report from Hospital No.301, a death certificate and a medical certificate specifying the cause of his death. This is my son's photo. I burned his bloody clothes, his watch and his ID card. I simply could not bear the pain of looking at those.

Zhang Zhenxia