United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo. (File photo)
United States Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo. (File photo)

Tiananmen Square massacre: US urges China to reveal fatalities, release prisoners

ANI | Updated: Jun 04, 2019 03:09 IST

Washington D.C. [USA] June 4 (ANI): The United States on Monday called on China to make public a full account of those killed or missing in the 1989 student-led pro-democracy demonstration in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
It also urged the communist country to release all political prisoners jailed for fighting human rights abuses in the country.
In a statement released a day before the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo said, "We urge the Chinese government to make a full, public accounting of those killed or missing to give comfort to the many victims of this dark chapter of history. Such a step would begin to demonstrate the Communist Party's willingness to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms."
"We call on China to release all those held for seeking to exercise these rights and freedoms, halt the use of arbitrary detention, and reverse counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with religious and political expression," the statement read.
In the spring of 1989, Beijing witnessed the largest student-led pro-democracy demonstration, which spread to over 30 cities by July 4.
On that day, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters witnessing the horrors of the Chinese government's brutality.
Pompeo condemned the treatment of the country's estimated one million Uighurs and other Muslim groups in the Xinjiang region.
"China's one-party state tolerates no dissent and abuses human rights whenever it serves its interests," the statement said.
"Today, Chinese citizens have been subjected to a new wave of abuses, especially in Xinjiang, where the Communist Party leadership is methodically attempting to strangle Uighur culture and stamp out the Islamic faith, including through the detention of more than one million members of Muslim minority groups," it added.
The Uighur is a Muslim majority in Xinjiang province, situated in the western part of China and is officially designated as an autonomous region. According to experts, over one million Uighurs have been detained in internment camps where they are forced to undergo forceful re-education or indoctrination.
Beijing has, however, refuted claims of clamping down on the Uighurs, outlining that only people who have committed minor offences when involved in terrorist activities are made to go through vocational training at "vocational education institutions". (ANI).