• Press Release

We remember Tiananmen, the 30th anniversary of the pro-democracy protests

May 23, 2019

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese gather on June 2, 1989 in Tiananmen Square around a 10-metre replica of the Statue of Liberty (C), called the Goddess of Democracy, demanding democracy despite martial law in Beijing. - Hundreds, possibly thousands, of protesters were killed by China's military on June 3 and 4, 1989, as communist leaders ordered an end to six weeks of unprecedented democracy protests in the heart of the Chinese capital. Dissidents and human rights advocates around the world will mark on June 4, 2009 the twentieth anniversary of China's bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy protests. (Photo by CATHERINE HENRIETTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read CATHERINE HENRIETTE/AFP/Getty Images)
To commemorate the anniversary of the killings of pro-democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square on June 4, Amnesty International USA will be showcasing the issue of human rights in China with a series of events and outreach initiatives around Washington D.C.

To date, there is no public remembrance in mainland China for the hundreds, if not thousands of people who were killed in and around Tiananmen Square. Senior Chinese Officials have defended the crackdown, claiming it was necessary to maintain the “social stability” needed for China’s rapid economic growth. The government’s brutal response to activists can be seen in how it treats the people who have bravely tried to commemorate the killings, such as the Tiananmen Mothers, an advocacy group composed mainly of parents whose children were killed.

“The brutal scenes of troops from the People’s Liberation Army firing live ammunition on civilians peaceably calling for change at Tiananmen Square shocked the world, even with so much of the details aggressively covered up by the Chinese government,” said Francisco Bencosme, the Asia Pacific Advocacy Manager at Amnesty International USA. “This year, we remember their brave efforts in the face of violence and fight for a new generation to learn and to never forget.”

On June 4, there will be a rally at the United States Capitol on the West Lawn at 1:30PM EST with Amnesty International USA as a confirmed participant, as well as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi.

June 6 – June 7, there will be a conference in George Washington University focused on the human rights of Uyghurs in China.

Amnesty International USA is also calling for Members of Congress to read one of three pertinent texts on their legislative floor on June 4. These include Charter 08, “I Have No Enemies: My Final Statement” penned by Liu Xiaobao, as well as “Mourning Our Families and Compatriots Killed in the June Fourth Massacre: A Letter to China’s Leaders” written recently by the advocacy group known as the Tiananmen Mothers.