Tiananmen mothers urge China to end atrocities
Families of victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown have called on the Chinese government to renounce violent oppression of human rights.india Updated: Feb 28, 2006 16:21 IST
Families of victims of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown have called on the Chinese government to renounce violent oppression of human rights.
The call from the TiananmenMothers, a group of more than 100 family members of demonstrators killed in the June 4, 1989 crackdown, comes just ahead of the opening of the annual session of China's parliament.
"Please show courage and determination to stop all atrocities that oppress human rights around the country," the group said in an open letter on Tuesday.
In December, paramilitary police opened fire on residents of Dongzhouvillage in the southern province of Guangdong protesting against a lack of compensation for land appropriated for a new power plant.
The government says three villagers were killed in what has been one of the most widely reported instances of armed forces firing on protesters since the military crushed the Tiananmenpro-democracy demonstrations. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed in that crackdown.
The TiananmenMothers, led by Ding Zilin, a retired professor whose teenage son was killed in the crackdown, have lobbied for years for an official apology over the massacre.
In the statement, Ding's group also asked parliament to press the government to unfreeze a bank account containing funds meant to help families of Tiananmenvictims and warned of a need to "reverse the crisis that has emerged".
During its March 5-14 annual session, China's parliament is expected to address growing social unrest, largely sparked by public anger over issues ranging from land grabs without proper compensation and official corruption to a yawning wealth gap.
Chinese police have reportedly rounded up at least eight democracy campaigners involved in hunger strikes ahead of the session and other dissidents are being held under house arrest.