China should admit role in massacre, say families of Tiananmen victims

A picture showing a man blocking a line of tanks during the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing is displayed as hundreds of Hong Kong people march on a downtown street in Hong Kong, Sunday, May 28, 2017, to mark the 28th anniversary of China’s bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square on June 4, ahead of a much larger annual candlelight vigil. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

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The Chinese government must admit its role in the killing of innocent civilians in the Tiananmen Square massacre, family members of the victims said on Friday. During the Tiananmen Square protests on June 3 and 4, 1989, hundreds or even thousands of students and workers who were demanding democratic reforms were killed by the Chinese Army, reports Efe. “The Chinese government must admit its crime of slaughtering innocent civilians, disclose the truth of the incident, take responsibility, and account for its actions to its people,” said the group Tiananmen Mothers in a statement, reported the nonprofit Human Rights in China.

Over the last 28 years, the group Tiananmen Mothers has continued to demand justice for the victims though the government closed the case without disclosing the number or the identities of the people who died in the incident. “It has been 28 years since the June 4 massacre, yet all relevant information about it has remained tightly sealed. No one is allowed to mention it, let alone commemorate the dead,” the group added.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said in a statement the authorities have been monitoring activists and has even forced some to leave the region “to preempt dissent and commemoration of the Tiananmen Massacre”.

In 2016, many activists were detained or punished for commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre. Although the last person who was jailed for participating in the Tiananmen protests was allegedly freed in 2016, several other protesters were arrested over their political activism and are still behind the bars, including Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo.

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