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Press release |

20 years after Tian An Men massacre

No democratic prospect on the Chinese horizon

Twenty years after the massacre of Tian An Men square, discussion of this event remains taboo in China and the Communist Party has still not provided any explanation about what really happened. Nobody knows what occurred exactly on the square, nor in the neighbouring avenues. How many deaths, how many casualties? Evidence from the Chinese Red Cross and staff working in the morgues of the hospitals evoke the figure of 3000 deaths.

In reaction to this oppression dissidents and critics in China founded the Charta 08 in autumn 2008, a manifesto that calls for political reforms and a democratisation of the People's Republic of China and openly criticizes the Chinese regime. The subscribers call, among other things, for a new constitution, a multi party system, separation of powers, secret and fair elections on all levels, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, environmental protection, the release of political prisoners, reparations for victims of state prosecution and the establishment of a commission of truth. Confessors to this manifesto put themselves in a situation of grave danger, but the number of their members nevertheless increases consistently. Today more than 8000 people support the Charta 08.

The European Parliament has shown its solidarity with Chinese dissidents in awarding the Sakharov Prize to Hu Jia in December 2008, which is a clear sign for the Chinese leaders.

Commenting on the 20th anniversary of the violent crushing of the democracy movement in China, Helga Trüpel, MEP, Member of the Delegation for relations with China, said:

"Today, I think of the victims and of their families, and in particular of the courageous Ding Zilin, who surmounted her pain to launch the movement of the Tian An Men's mothers - she still seeks to know why her son died, who had just turned 17 years.

Today I also think about the present : China's leaders persist in muzzling the freedom of expression, of association, trade-union freedom. It is more than time that the leaders of the Communist Party undertake a political reform.

During the EU-China Human rights dialogue, the Tian An Men massacre has to be put at the agenda: the EU has to ask the Chinese authorities to permit a public debate and to stop banning discussion of this matter. I also call on the European Union to firmly maintain the arms embargo.

Greens regret that former dissidents of Tian An Men were expelled from the territories of Hong Kong and Macao, such Wu' Er Kaixi.

Finally, the European Greens recall that numerous dissidents are living in extremely difficult situations, whether they are victims of harassment or threats by the police, or whether they are jailed. This is in particular the case of the winner of the European Parliament Sakharov prize Hu Jia, who is in prison, and of his spouse and of their very young daughter, who live in their apartment, the police in front of the door.

This cannot last! The European Union has the moral responsibility to put pressure on the Chinese leaders so that improvement of the situation of human rights is made."

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