Visitors to the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing will be in a city that fewer than twenty years ago was the site of a massacre of innocent civilians by their government. As you enjoy the athletic events and the sights of the city, you may find yourself at street corners, subway stops, in parks or near hospitals where ordinary Chinese men and women were murdered.
On the night of June 3-4, 1989, troops of China’s People’s Liberation Army moved into Beijing to crush the pro-democracy demonstrations that began in April of that year. The number killed remains unknown although estimates range from several hundred to several thousand. The government of the People’s Republic of China insists that the demonstrators were counter-revolutionary criminals. Tens of thousands were imprisoned in the political crackdown that followed.
A few years afterward, Ding Zilin, the mother of a murdered student, began to investigate the massacre. Eventually, she and other victims’ relatives formed the Tiananmen Mothers. They have gathered information about 188 victims of China’s Communist regime. This map, which is based on their work, shows the places where 176 victims were killed or the hospitals to which their bodies were taken. Thirteen known victims remain unaccounted for.