Tienanmen Square massacre: twenty years ago

June 3rd, 2009 - 8:46 pm ICT by GD  

On June 3 and 4, 1989, the Chinese army massacred the protesting pro-democracy citizens at Tienanmen Square in Beijing. This later came to be known as the infamous Tienanmen Square massacre. Today, the 3rd of June, 2009, marks the twentieth year of this incident.

Back in 1989, large armored tanks were used to suppress the protesters. One of the lasting images of the incident has been that of a single protester standing upfront facing four tanks charging towards him. This picture was taken by photographer Jeff Widener.

The majority of the protesters were students and it had initiated in the memory of Hu Yaobang, a former leader of the communist party, and had grown in proportion when people from various field started joining in. The people had congregated at the Tienanmen Square for a period of seven weeks. Even though the government had tried to persuade them, the protesters simply refused to move until their demands of democracy were considered and met. Governments across the world including those of UK and US were shocked and condemned the use of brutal force by the Chinese army and the government.

Official Chinese sources put the death toll at 241 while there were initial reports that the Chinese Red Cross had in initially reported it to be in range of 2,600. But the Chinese government even went on to ban foreign media organizations from covering the event and its aftermath and put in place strong control over the state media in the same context. Even till this date the infamous events of Tienanmen Square finds special mention in various history books across the world.

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