US lawmakers demand release of Tiananmen prisoners

Situation in China with regards to human rights has not changed even after 23 years of the Tiananmen Square massacre, top American lawmakers said.

Updated: Jun 05, 2012, 13:32 PM IST

Washington: The situation in China with regards to human rights and democracy has not changed even after 23 years of the Tiananmen Square massacre, top American lawmakers have said, demanding release of prisoners still held by the regime.

"When it comes to human rights and democracy, not a lot has changed in 23 years in China. The totalitarian regime has made every effort to censor information about the Tiananmen massacre, end the tributes honouring those slain, and erase the memory of the bloody crackdown," Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement on the occasion of 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre yesterday.

The people of China, even after 23 years of the massacre, continue to suffer the same injustices and oppression at the hand of the regime, Ros-Lehtinen said, adding that the Beijing wants the world to forget about the horrific events of June 1989, and its continued oppression.

"But our memories will not fade, and our thoughts and commitments remain with those brave individuals who stood up to the Chinese regime at Tiananmen, and who continue to stand up for basic rights," she said.

The Congresswoman demanded an end to the persecution, freedom for all Chinese people and a transparent accounting of the events behind the Tiananmen massacre.
"The Chinese government should immediately and unconditionally release those imprisoned for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and religion including Liu Xiaobo, the world`s only imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who co-authored Charter 08, an online petition calling for democratic reform," demanded the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi.

"On this day we remember the Chinese students, workers, and citizens who peacefully assembled to call for the end of corruption, the acceleration of democratic reform, and a dialogue with China`s leaders," Pelosi said.