We Call on the Human Rights Council to take Action Over China’s 30 Years of Rights Violations Tied to 1989 Tiananmen Massacre
June 17, 2019 Comments Off on We Call on the Human Rights Council to take Action Over China’s 30 Years of Rights Violations Tied to 1989 Tiananmen Massacre
(June 17, 2019) On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the 1989 pro-democracy movement in China, former student leader Wang Dan, joined by 21 other victims and survivors of the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre, with assistance of the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders, have submitted a complaint to the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) alleging gross, systematic, and consistent pattern of human rights violations by the Government of China. In the submission filed with the Council’s Complaint Procedure, we request that the HRC investigate the gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms committed by the Chinese government during its military assault on peaceful protests and the consistent pattern of human rights violations in persecuting Chinese citizens during the past three decades who broke the silence about the atrocities and commemorated those who lost their lives in China on June 3-4, 1989.
The Chinese government’s gross violations of Chinese citizens’ human rights during the 1989 massacre and in the aftermath––including the right to life, the right to be free from arbitrary detention, exile, and torture, the right to a fair trial, the right to effective remedy, and the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly––persist today in a consistent, gross, and systemic pattern. As Tiananmen student leader Wang Dan said:
The massacre 30 years ago has not ended yet: the Chinese government even determined that the victims were criminals, and a large number of exiles are still deprived of their right to return to their own country. The families of those killed in the massacre have been unable to obtain state compensation.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. The Chinese government has neither held a public inquiry nor permitted an independent investigation of the events. Calls for justice and accountability and for an independent investigation––precisely what we are asking for today––have been silenced by the government of China for the past 30 years. “It is for this reason that we resolutely seek to ascertain where responsibility lies, so that those responsible may be held accountable,” said the writer Su Xiaokang, who was forced into exile after the massacre and has co-sponsored this submission.
The lack of accountability for the grave and ongoing consistent pattern of gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, from 1989 continuing through the present, requires the full attention at the highest level of the United Nations human rights system. Considering that the Human Rights Council must stand up for its founding principle that all States have the duty to protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms and that the international community must step in when States fail in their duty, we call on the Human Rights Council to:
- Investigate the gross violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in connection to the 1989 massacre and in relation to the consistent pattern of suppression of citizens’ attempts to seek justice and commemorate those killed in the massacre;
- Request the Chinese government to allow an independent factual investigation into the events in Beijing in early June 1989, and for the findings to be made public; permit discussion, dialogue and gatherings relating to the 1989 protests and massacre; cease censoring Tiananmen-related information and discussion in print and on the Internet; release 1989 activists currently imprisoned, detained or under house arrest; and end the ongoing persecution and the unrelenting surveillance and harassment of 1989 protestors, the families of the victims, and those trying to seek remedies and commemorate the dead;
- If the Chinese government refuses to cooperate, use all tools available under resolution 5/1, including the appointment of an independent and highly qualified expert to monitor the situation and report back to the Council.
The Complaint is jointly submitted by the following 22 individuals and 1 NGO:
Wang Dan (王丹)
Wang Juntao (王军涛)
Wu’er Kaixi (吾尔开希)
Zhou Fengsuo (周锋锁)
Shen Tong (沈彤)
Fang Zheng (方政)
Zheng Xuguang (郑旭光)
Lü Jinghua (吕京花)
Wang Chaohua (王超华)
Tong Yi (童屹)
Xiang Xiaoji (项小吉)
Li Jinjin (李进进)
Zhang Boli (张伯笠)
Li Hengqing (李恒青)
Kang Zhengguo (康正果)
Bei Ming (北明)
Yan Jiaqi (严家其)
Su Xiaokang (苏晓康)
Zheng Yi (郑义)
Chen Kuide (陈奎德)
Jin Xiuhong (金秀红)
Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) has assisted in filing and submitting this complaint.
(To comply with the confidentiality requirement of the HRC Complaint Procedure, we have not made the contents of the submission public.)
Wang Dan, Director, Dialogue China, WangDan[at]gmail.com
Renee Xia, Director, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, +1 863 866 1012 reneexia[at]nchrd.org
Frances Eve, Deputy Director of Research, Chinese Human Rights Defenders, +1 661 240 9177 franceseve[at]nchrd.org