03/01/2007, 00.00
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‘Tiananmen Mothers’ demand truth of 1989 massacre

In an open letter published by Human Rights in China, group that includes victims and relatives of Communist repression calls on the party to open up a debate on the anti-corruption and pro-democracy movement and reveal the truth hidden for the past 18 years.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In an open letter released by Human Rights in China the Tiananmen Mothers, a group of relatives of victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on the anti-corruption and pro-democracy protests, have urged the government to allow an open debate on the subject at next week's annual meeting of the National People's Congress and "reveal the truth" about the protests and their bloody conclusion.

“A just and reasonable resolution of the June 4 question is an inevitable trend, and is what the people desire,” said the letter. “It has been nearly 18 years” and “the real story has yet to see the light of day,” it added.

The ‘Tiananmen Mothers’ are a group that includes 128 relatives of the victims of the June 4, 1989, Tiananmen Square massacre. On that day Chinese troops, backed by tanks, slaughtered defenceless protesters who had been in the streets of the Chinese capital for over a month demanding democracy and an end to corruption.

The ‘Tiananmen Mothers’, led by Ding Zilin, a retired professor whose 17-year-old son was killed in the crackdown, have lobbied those in power for years to get an official apology for the massacre.

The authorities have never revealed the final death toll from the massacre, but some independent international organisations have said that the number of people who were killed in and around the square on June 4 and subsequent days runs in the thousands.  

The government has never responded to the ‘Mothers’ who every year on the anniversary of the massacre publicly demand the revision of the historical judgment levelled at the student’s movement and end up under house arrest for this reason.

In its final assessment, the Chinese Communist Party has labelled the events of 1989 a counter-revolutionary rebellion.

In last year’s letter the ‘Mothers’ responded by accusing the government of not asking for forgiveness for the atrocities committed and instead still honours as gods Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping “whose hands are heavy with the blood of the people and who brought about tragedies never seen before in the history of our nation.”

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