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Statement From the Tiananmen Mothers on the 35th Anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre


Human Rights in China has translated the following statement by the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of survivors and families of the victims of the Tiananmen Massacre, in honor and remembrance on the 35th Anniversary.


Today, we, the families and relatives of the June Fourth victims, are gathered in Beijing to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. As we gaze upon the photos of our loved ones, our hearts are filled with a mix of grief and anger, and the pain arises suddenly.  

We will never forget that day on June Fourth, 35 years ago, when your vibrant lives were struck by bullets, crushed by tanks, and snuffed out! The missing people whose remains could not even be found, and whose family members could not wipe the blood from your bodies and bid you a final farewell. These events happened in peacetime, on Chang'an Avenue in Beijing, the capital of China. It was too cruel! The injustices were too many to name!

For the past 35 years, we have never been able to forget the sight of you leaving home, and the gunshots in the night sky of Beijing which made us worry that something happened to you when you did not return home on time. We anxiously searched day after day, asking about you at major hospitals and all levels of government offices, tirelessly striving to find you and bring you home. When we finally heard the bad news, our anxious tension completely collapsed. We were heartbroken, devastated. Every family then seemed to live in darkness without light, and some could only shed endless tears.

Some of the wounded that Beijing citizens brought to the hospitals were hovering on the line between life and death. The doctors saved lives in one operation after another, hoping that there would be a miracle. Your family and loved ones were by your side day and night, praying that you could have a chance to reunite with your parents, wives and children, and that there would be the same harmony and warmth in your families as before. However, the Chinese authorities issued inhumane and indifferent orders mandating that the injured were not to be rescued, that blood transfusions were not to be given, martial law forces were to investigate the injured in major hospitals, and so on, so the hospitals had no choice but to conceal your injuries as other diseases. What's more, when those young lives were struck by bullets and fell to the ground, some citizens desperately tried to rescue them, but the soldiers did not allow citizens to even come close, and even stabbed the injured again with their bayonets several times.

The Geneva Convention of the International Red Cross clearly states: "Both sides of a conflict should observe humanitarian principles regarding prisoners of war, ensure the neutrality of the wounded, and in the event of war, they should make every effort to rescue the wounded regardless of nationality, ethnicity, and religious belief, and reduce deaths."1 China is a signatory to this convention. The 1989 June Fourth Massacre, which occurred in peacetime, was a result of the Chinese military shooting at students and citizens who were petitioning for peace, and no rescue of the resulting casualties was allowed. This was antithetical to the laws of nature and humanity! Every human being on this Earth has the right to life and human dignity, and no ruler or leader has the right to arbitrarily deprive others of their lives.

Some students came from other provinces, full of youthful optimism. Carrying the expectations of their parents and fellow villagers, they came to the capital Beijing alone for their studies. The students of the ‘80s were the most idealistic and ambitious group of young people after the college entrance examinations were reinstated, and they would have become the pillars of the country. Instead, with the sound of a gunshot, their young lives were forever frozen on Shili Chang'an Street, and their blood stained the streets. Thirty-five years have passed, and the marks of that year have been erased by merciless time, but the traces of their blood and souls forever remain in the hearts of the witnesses, and in the hearts of their parents and loved ones. A mother from one of those faraway provinces once said: "My child went to Beijing to study, I never thought that my child wouldn’t finish school, but would lose their life instead!" How heartbroken she was, and how helpless she must have felt against the government for her to say that.

As we stand here today, looking at the pictures of our loved ones, we feel incomparably sad. We can't help but ask China's ruling party and the Chinese government: Do society’s problems have to be resolved by taking the lives of others?! Behind every life is their family, their parents, their siblings, their wives, and their children. For the families, the sudden loss of a loved one overnight is like the sky has fallen, and we are unable to accept the cruel truth. As a group of family members and relatives of the victims, we have the right to know the truth about the June Fourth Massacre, how many people were killed, how many people were injured, and how many people were implicated in this massacre that shocked China and the rest of the world. It is the responsibility of the government to give an explanation to society about this tragic incident that is in line with the facts, to publish the names of those who died, to make a public apology in the government’s name, and to return fairness and justice to us.

Thirty-five years have passed, and the authorities remain silent. All that can be seen on the Internet is A Concise History of the Communist Party of China, which says that a tragic incident was caused by the student movement in 1989. We cannot accept or tolerate such statements that ignore the facts. In the student movement triggered by Hu Yaobang's death, the slogans put forward by the students were anti-official and anti-corruption, demanding the disclosure of officials' personal assets and the people’s right to know the truth. These demands solicited extensive responses and support from people from all walks of life. The people had good intentions; they wanted to express the people's wishes to the government in this way, hoping that the government would listen to the people's demands, and bring about a vision of a clean and honest government. Isn't the current government also fighting corruption and discussing the proposal of "officials disclosing their assets" at the National People's Congress?

Thirty-five years have passed, and we ask the Chinese ruling party and the Chinese government again: Where were the counter-revolutionary riots that took place during the June Fourth Massacre, who were the counter-revolutionary rioters, and which key departments of the party and government leaders were hit on the day of the June Fourth Massacre? What was the behind the scenes information? What were the rumors being spread? After the army cleared Tiananmen Square, the government spokesman said in public that no shots were fired in Tiananmen Square and no one was killed. Since no shots were fired and no one died, how could the counter-revolutionary riots in Tiananmen Square come from that instigated by the counter-revolutionaries? Why did the “Concise History” mention Tiananmen Square without mentioning the students? Why did the “Concise History” not mention what the decisive measures were? Not mention the army's indiscriminate killing of innocent people, which filled the hundreds of thousands of people on Chang'an Avenue that day with fear? Only when history is factual can future generations in China reflect on it and learn from it.

Since June Fourth, the government has ignored the legitimate demands of the family members and relatives of the innocent victims of the Tiananmen Massacre and has continued to interfere with the daily lives of the remaining family members and relatives in various ways. The government’s propaganda emphasizes that the principles and policies of governing the country must be implemented according to the law and must put people’s interests first. However, the demands of the family members and relatives of the June Fourth victims have been ignored, completely deviating from the ruling philosophy of upholding the supremacy of the people and the supremacy of life.

Over the past 35 years, we have repeatedly appealed to our national leaders, hoping to have a sincere dialogue with the government on the following matters related to the June Fourth Massacre:

    (1) Publish the list and number of the deceased persons in the incident;

    (2) Provide appropriate compensation to the victims of June Fourth and victims’ families in accordance with the law;

    (3) Investigate those responsible for the incident in accordance with legal procedures.

These are also the three demands of truth, reparations, and accountability that our group has always adhered to.

On the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the June Fourth Massacre, we once again sincerely appeal to President Xi Jinping and the government to engage in dialogue with us on these issues. The June Fourth Massacre is a historic and tragic event that the Chinese government must face and needs to explain to the people. It cannot be ignored, and there are members of government from that time who should bear legal responsibility for indiscriminately killing innocent people. For 35 years, we have suffered the loss of our loved ones. Many parents who lost their children have already passed away, carrying with them endless regrets. If the government sincerely addresses this tragedy, it would be the greatest consolation to the parents who are still alive.

This year, another victim and another bereaved family member in our group passed away due to illness. One is the disabled Mr. Qi Zhiyong, who died on January 2 at the age of 68. He was injured in the Liubukou area of Xidan. He had a high-limb amputation on his left leg, contracted Hepatitis C from a blood transfusion, and had suffered for 35 years. He once had a happy home, but the June Fourth Massacre completely changed his life. Another victim, Mr. Jia Fuquan, died at the age of 80 on March 7 due to a new coronavirus infection. On the morning of June 4, 1989, his wife, Mu Guilan, an employee of the No. 3 Jingmian Factory, went out to buy breakfast for her family when she was shot by a military vehicle at the Chaoyangmen overpass. She died on the spot.

We take this opportunity to mourn the both of them. May their souls rest in peace! We will continue to hold on to your last wishes until the day of justice arrives!


You Weijie, Guo Liying, Zhang Yanqiu, Wu Lihong, Zhu Zhidi, Ye Xiangrong, Ding Zilin, Zhang Xianling, Zhou Shuzhuang, Qian Putai, Wu Dingfu, Song Xiuling, Sun Chengkang, Yu Qing, Sun Ning, Huang Jinping, Meng Shuying, Yuan Shumin, Liu Meihua, Xie Jinghua, Ma Xueqin, Kuang Ruirong, Yang Darong, He Tianfeng, Liu Xiuchen, Shen Guifang, Xie Jingrong, Yao Furong, Meng Shuzhen, Shao Qiufeng, Tan Hanfeng, Wang Wenhua, Chen Mei, Zhou Yan, Li Guiying, Xu Baoyan, Di Mengqi, Wang Lian, Guan Weidong, Liu Shuqin, Sun Shanping, Liu Tianyuan  Huang Dingying, Xiong Hui, Zhang Caifeng, He Ruitian, Tian Weiyan, Yang Zhiyu, Li Xianyuan, Wang Yuqin, Fang Zheng, He Xingcai, Liu Ren'an, Qi Guoxiang, Han Guogang, Pang Meiqing, Huang Ning, Wang Bodong, Zhang Zhiqiang, Zhao Jinsuo, Kong Weizhen, Liu Baodong, Qi Zhiying, Fang Guizhen, Lei Yong, Ge Guirong, Zheng Xiucun, Gui Delan, Wang Yunqi, Huang Xuefen, Guo Daxian, Wang Lin, Zhu Jingrong, Mu Huailan, Wang Zhengqiang, Ning Shuping, Cao Yunlan, Feng Shulan, Fu Yuanyuan, Li Chunshan  Jiang Yanqin, He Fengting, Xi Yongshun, Xiao Zongyou, Qiao Xiulan, Lu Yanjing, Li Haoquan, Lai Yundi, Zhou Xiaojiao, Zhou Yunjiao, Chen Yongbang, Liu Yongliang, Zhang Jingli, Sun Haiwen, Wang Hai, Lu Sanbao, Yao Yueying, Ren Gailian, Ni Shishu, Yang Yunlong, Cui Linsen, Wu Weidong, Wang Deyi, Shi Jing, Yuan Ren, Bao Limei, Xi Guijun, Zhong Junhua, Ya Aiqiang, Chen Weidong, Hao Jian, Zhang Suying, Lin Li, Duan Changqi (114 people in total)

At the suggestion of fellow sufferers, we have decided to append the list of deceased signatories from previous years to honor their final wishes:

Wu Xuehan, Su Bingxian, Yao Ruisheng, Yang Shiyu, Yuan Changlu, Zhou Shuzhen, Wang Guoxian, Bao Yutian, Lin Jingpei, Kou Yusheng, Meng Jinxiu, Zhang Junsheng, Wu Shouqin, Zhou Zhigang, Sun Xiuzhi, Luo Rang, Yan Guanghan, Li Zhenying, Kuang Diqing, Duan Hongbing, Liu Chunlin, Zhang Yaozu, Li Shujuan, Yang Yinshan, Wang Peijing, Yuan Kezhi, Pan Muzhi, Xiao Changyi, Ya Weilin, Liu Jianlan, Suo Xiunu, Yang Ziming, Cheng Shuzhen, Du Dongxu, Zhang Guirong, Zhao Tingjie, Lu Masheng, Jiang Peikun, Ren Jinbao, Zhang Shuyun, Han Shuxiang, Shi Feng, Wang Guirong, Sui Lisong, Tian Shuling, Sun Shufang, Chen Yongchao, Sun Hengyao, Xu Jue, Wang Fandi Li Xuewen, Wang Shuanglan, Zhang Zhenxia, Xiao Shulan, Tan Shuqin, Gao Jie, Jin Yaxi, Xing Chengli, Zhou Guolin, Hao Yichuan, Lu Yubao, Cao Changxian, Yin Min, Liu Qian, Lin Wuyun, Jin Zhenyu, Feng Youxiang, Wang Huirong, Zhu Yuxian, Zhang Shusen, Wang Guangming, Qi Zhiyong, Jia Fuquan (73 people in total)




35年来,我们始终无法忘记你们离开家的身影,北京夜空的枪声让我们提着心吊着胆,担心你们会出事,当你们没有按时平安地回到家,我们带着充满焦虑的心情,四处奔走到处打听,从各大医院到各级政府行政部门,日复一日不知疲倦地走在寻找你们回家的路上 ,得知你们的噩耗,紧张的心情彻底崩溃!伤心欲绝,肝肠寸断,那一段时间每个家庭如同生活在没有光明的黑暗中,有的只是流不尽的眼泪。


国际红十字会日内瓦公约中明确提出:“交战双方对战俘要实行人道主义,保证伤员的中立化,一旦发生战争,应不分国籍 ,不分民族和信仰全力抢救伤员,减少死亡。”2 中国是签署国。那么和平时期89年六四惨案,是中国的正规军向和平请愿的学生、市民开枪,造成的伤亡,都不准抢救,这样的做法有违天理,丧失人性!所有生活在这片土地上的人都有生存权利,有做人的尊严,统治者没有权利可以任意剥夺他人的生命。












六四惨案三十五周年之际,我们再一次诚恳地向国家主席习近平先生及政府呼吁,期待政府能够与我们就相关问题进行对话。六四惨案是中国政府必须要面对和需要向人民交代的无法绕过去的历史性悲惨事件,当时政府中的某些人应当承担乱杀无辜的法律责任。35年来我们饱受失去亲人的痛苦,很多当年失去孩子的父母亲们已经离开人世, 他们是带着无尽的遗憾走的。如果政府有诚意地把这件惨案摆到议事日程上来,这是对尚还活着的父母亲们最大的安慰。




尤维洁、郭丽英、张彦秋、吴丽虹、祝枝弟、叶向荣、丁子霖、张先玲、周淑庄、钱普泰、吴定富、宋秀玲、孙承康、于清、孙宁、黄金平、孟淑英、袁淑敏、刘梅花、谢京花、马雪琴、邝瑞荣、杨大榕、贺田凤、刘秀臣、沈桂芳、谢京荣、要福荣、孟淑珍、邵秋风、谭汉凤、王文华、陈梅、周燕、李桂英、徐宝艳、狄孟奇、王连、管卫东、刘淑琴、孙珊萍、 刘天媛、黄定英、熊辉、张彩凤、何瑞田、田维炎、杨志玉、李显远、王玉芹、方政、何兴才、刘仁安、齐国香、韩国刚、庞梅清、黄宁、王伯冬、张志强、赵金锁、孔维真、刘保东、齐志英、方桂珍、雷勇、葛桂荣、郑秀村、桂德兰、王运启、黄雪芬、郭达显、王琳、朱镜蓉、穆怀兰、王争强、宁书平、曹云兰、冯淑兰、付媛媛、李春山、蒋艳琴、何凤亭、奚永顺、肖宗友、乔秀兰、陆燕京、李浩泉、赖运迪、周小姣、周运姣、陈永邦、刘永亮、张景利、孙海文、王海、陆三宝、姚月英、任改莲、倪世殊、杨云龙、崔林森、吴卫东、王德义、石晶、袁刃、包丽梅、奚贵君、钟俊华、轧爱强、陈卫东、郝建、张素英、林莉、段昌琦(共114人)


吴学汉、苏冰娴、姚瑞生、杨世钰、袁长录、周淑珍、王国先、包玉田、林景培、寇玉生、 孟金秀、张俊生、吴守琴、周治刚、孙秀芝、罗让、严光汉、李贞英、邝涤清、段宏炳、刘春林、张耀祖、李淑娟、杨银山、王培靖、袁可志、潘木治、萧昌宜、轧伟林、刘建兰、索秀女、杨子明、程淑珍、杜东旭、张桂荣、赵廷杰、陆马生、蒋培坤、任金宝、张淑云、韩淑香、石峰、王桂荣、隋立松、田淑玲、孙淑芳、陈永朝、孙恒尧、徐珏、王范地、李雪文、王双兰、张振霞、肖书兰、谭淑琴、高捷、金亚喜、邢承礼、周国林、郝义传、陆玉宝、曹长先、尹敏、刘乾、林武云、金贞玉、冯友祥、王惠蓉、朱玉仙、张树森、王广明、齐志勇、贾福泉(共73人)




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HRIC Note: The original text of Article 12 of the First Geneva Convention states that the wounded “shall be treated humanely and cared for by the Party to the conflict in whose power they may be, without any adverse distinction founded on sex, race, nationality, religion, political opinions, or any other similar criteria. Any attempts upon their lives, or violence to their persons, shall be strictly prohibited; in particular, they shall not be murdered or exterminated, subjected to torture or to biological experiments; they shall not wilfully be left without medical assistance and care, nor shall conditions exposing them to contagion or infection be created.”



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Human Rights in China
Human Rights in China