Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement today in remembrance of the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre:
“Twenty four years ago, Chinese students, workers, and citizens were massacred in Tiananmen Square as they peacefully assembled to call for the end of corruption and the acceleration of democratic reform. Today, any mention of the events of June 4, 1989, is censored from the Chinese people, and the victims and their families are imprisoned and persecuted by the Chinese government. The human rights situation in China and Tibet continues to deteriorate and any prospect of reform continues to be crushed by the Chinese government.
“On this anniversary, the heroes of Tiananmen are remembered in Hong Kong and around the world. Ding Zilin and the Tiananmen Mothers bravely continue their calls for China’s leaders to enter into a dialogue, and their supporters worldwide have joined them to demand the Chinese government provide an honest accounting of the crackdown, stop persecution of the families, and allow the families to mourn publicly without interference.
“As many Chinese citizens who participated in the Tiananmen protests still languish in prison, alongside so many others who have criticized the government or called for their basic human rights, the Chinese government should immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners, including Liu Xiaobo, the world’s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. On May 13th, I was proud to join with Speaker Boehner and bipartisan leaders in Congress to call for stronger efforts to protect the family of Chinese human rights leader Chen Guangcheng. The troubling trend of Chinese officials abusing and intimidating the families of human rights activists must be a higher priority in the U.S.-China relationship.
“One of the most enduring images of the 20th century will forever be seared into our conscience – the picture of the lone man standing in the street, bringing the line of tanks to a grinding halt. Today, the spirit of Tiananmen lives on in the hearts and minds of those continuing the struggle both in China and abroad.”