Press Release
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Statement: June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre
The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD)

In Memory of the Courage of the Chinese People
Who Sacrificed Their Lives at Tiananmen Square

June 4, 2015 - In solidarity with all freedom-loving peoples of the world, we are peacefully fighting against repression and impunity. Humanity born to freedom is alert to repel invasion of liberty by power-hungry rulers.

The gruesome massacre, which the Chinese people calls the June Fourth Movement, or the June Fourth Massacre, or Liu-Si Tucheng is a blatant reminder that people cannot be forever prisoners of their own conscience in the struggle for truth, justice and freedom. The Tiananmen Square uprising conjures the image of a lone anonymous person or the Tank Man, who courageously stood before a column of tanks preventing their advance to further annihilate the dissidents.

Twenty-six years after the June 4th gruesome crackdown against protesters mainly led by university students and intellectuals at Tiananmen (literally means, Gate of Heavenly Peace) Square, basic human rights and freedoms are still obscured by state authoritarianism. In China, people caught talking about the macabre dispersal, are thrown into jail to suffer hard labor.

On June 4, 1989, more than 100,000 protesting people gathered at the third largest city squares in the world, which has great cultural significance as the site of seminal events in China's history, who wanted to mourn the death of Hu Yaobang, a pro-democracy official. The protesters were generally against the government's authoritarianism and voiced calls for democratic reforms and economic changes within the structure of the government that allows no civil and political rights, no freedoms. Corruption is rampant among members of the Politburo and circle of families and friends. The day turned into a tragedy, which still haunts and torments the conscience of the world's freedom-loving nations.

Dissenters to the single party dictatorial government rule are either jailed in undisclosed facilities, tortured, forced into hard labor, summarily executed, or disappeared. More than 5,000 were killed and an unknown number of people were forcibly disappeared in the crackdown.

The incident was deplorable and unforgivable. Nations express horror and outrage at the senseless violence and tragic loss of lives of protesters and soldiers resulting in an indiscriminate and brutal use of force against protesters.

After the bloody dispersal, the regime has intensified its crackdown against human rights activists, and most worrying is the complete disregard for national laws and the obstructions thrown in front of lawyers trying to do their jobs and repression of human rights advocacy.

To this day, after the infamous June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, the Government of the People's

Republic of China continues to deprive its peoples their basic human rights and freedoms, and the rule of law despite its meteoric economic success that sacrificed the rights of millions of workers and farmers. While the community of nations closed ranks and collectively condemned the bloodbath, much of the international community today have averted their attention from the forced labor camps, which continue to operate as instruments of oppression against workers and farming communities, whose labor has propelled China as the second largest economy of the world.

The Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances (AFAD), in solidarity with the world's human rights and civil society organizations and the community of freedom and peace-loving nations, is asking the Government of the People's Republic of China to apologize for the incident, especially to the surviving victims and to the families of those killed; to release the dissidents still held in detention, to surface the disappeared and to conduct an investigation of the events surrounding the protest and bring them to justice.

There has been no substantive improvement on human rights in the People's Republic of China over the past 26 years in spite of the economic affluence. For the past two years, there had been more than 80,000 mass disturbances by dissenting groups and ordinary citizens across the country, a sign that the fighting spirit of its people has not been dampened by the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square. Civil and political rights cannot be alienated from social and economic rights as all human rights are, not only universal, but indivisible, and interdependent.

The People's Republic of China claims that theirs is a democracy, but how then can it claim to be democratic when its soldiers brutally gunned down and crushed protesters in that peaceful demonstration?

The world knows the democracy that China is not, but it knows the authoritarian state that it is. AFAD reminds the Chinese Government, as a member of the United Nations, to adhere to the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its two Optional Protocols wherein enshrined that all human beings are inherently entitled to all basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.

AFAD is urging the Government of the People's Republic of China to ratify the International

Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance.

Furthermore, AFAD joins the global human rights movement in standing firm with courage and non-violence to bring about needed changes in societies like that of the People's Republic of China.

The image of that young man who stood alone before a column of advancing tanks will forever be seared into our minds - an image of defiance, of determination, of courage to claim to his inherent basic human rights and freedoms.

Finally, the Asian Federation Against Involuntary Disappearances remembers Ding Zilin and all other Tiananmen Mothers who continue to search for truth and to struggle for justice. It links arms in solidarity with them and the rest of the Chinese citizens. Your cause is our cause.

May the memory of Tiananmen Square forever inspire us and strengthen our resolve to continue the fight for the evasive freedom, which the victims of the gruesome pogrom lived and died for.

Signed and authenticated by:      

Chairperson Secretary-General