Target: Xi Jinping, President of China
Goal: End prohibition against acknowledging and discussing the Tiananmen Square Massacre
June 4th marks the 25-year anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, where thousands of Chinese citizens lost their lives in an attempt to bring democracy to their communist country. Most of these protesters were students who had camped in Beijing for seven weeks before military force was used. China strictly prohibits anyone from talking about the event and the country has gone as far as to detain possible instigators and human rights activists to ensure that remembrance of this event does not happen.
The Tiananmen Square event began when workers, students and other citizens gathered in protest. They were demanding the right to have more than one political party in government, and the right to exercise freedom of speech. When martial law was declared over Beijing the government gave the military permission to use deadly force if necessary to quell the protesters. Some citizens responded violently, attacking army convoys and burning vehicles. Martial law was quickly enforced in the capital as units opened fire with assault rifles and tanks on the unarmed populace.
For the 25th anniversary of the event the Chinese government has detained six individuals including well-known human rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, academic Xu Youyu and artist Chen Guangcheng. The founder of Tiananmen Mothers, Ding Zilin, has also been taken into custody. The group is demanding accountability and truth about the loved ones lost during the massacre. Even though 25 years have passed many citizens are still reeling from the massacre’s effects. The populace demands freedom of expression and speech, punishment for those that fired rounds into unarmed citizens, and the ability to openly discuss the terrible event.
Many of the protesters killed were students who wanted to change their government and failed to do so. The loss of life should be mourned without fear of being targeted. Call on the Chinese government to acknowledge that the event happened and allow citizens to discuss and remember those that were lost.
Dear President Xi Jinping,
Like your predecessors, you are trying to quell discussion of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. I am disappointed in this fact as many families are still reeling from the violence, and some prisoners detained during the event are only now being released. You are doing your country a great injustice by not allowing citizens to discuss their loss.
These 25 years have passed slowly for families waiting for answers. Many Chinese citizens continue to demand free speech, accountability and the truth behind what happened in Tiananmen Square. All of these rights should be guaranteed, but your government continues to suppress them
I urge you to allow citizens to remember and discuss the Tiananmen Square Massacre openly and without punishment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ryanne lai via Flickr