Tiananmen Mothers criticiseSchroeder’s arms stance
24 March 2005
BEIJING – Relatives of people killed in the bloody crackdown on the 1989 pro-democracy movement in Beijing have lashed out at German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and French president Jacques Chirac for considering lifting an arms embargo on China.
Speaking in a telephone interview on Thursday, the ‘Mother of Tiananmen’, professor Ding Zilin, said that “China’s government always names Chirac as a friend of the Chinese people, but for us he is only a friend to autocratic dictatorship.” She said Schroeder should not follow Chirac’s position, “otherwise the people will remember him like the people remembered Hitler”.
Both leaders would be remembered in history as “shameful”, said the retired professor, whose son was killed in the bloody crackdown by Chinese troops in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in June 1989.
More than 500 activists have joined Ding in writing an appeal to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana not to lift the arms embargo, which was imposed in the wake of the military crackdown.
Among other things, the document calls for all political prisoners in China to be freed and for the creation of a new independent commission to investigate the deaths of demonstrators and the imprisonment and torture of individuals detained after the 1989 crackdown.
Ding said 125 ‘Tiananmen Mothers’ had signed the document.
Subject: German news