Tiananmen Square crackdown

Tiananmen father commits suicide after decades of 'injustice'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 May, 2012, 12:00am


An elderly man hanged himself last week in the run-up to the 23rd anniversary of the June 4, Tiananmen Square crackdown, after growing desperate from what he and others called years of 'injustice'.

Ya Weilin was a 73-year-old retired hospital worker and member of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group largely comprised of victims' families who advocate a change in the government's position over the suppression of the pro-democracy protests in 1989.

The group issued an obituary yesterday saying Ya hanged himself in an unfinished underground car park at the No 2 Hospital of the former Ministry of Nuclear Industry, south of Capital Normal University in Haidian district.

He had lived with his wife in a residential part of the hospital, where he used to work.

He became a member of the Tiananmen Mothers because his second son, Ya Aiguo , was shot in the head and killed aged 22 in the Gongzhufen area of west Beijing, late on June 3, 1989, the obituary said.

Ya Weilin left his home at 10am on Thursday, and three of his family members - his son, daughter-in-law and niece - found his body at about 3.30pm on Friday.

Police took away the body and cremated it yesterday morning.

The obituary demanded that authorities return Ya's will, which was believed to have been seized.

The group also called on the central government to recognise and address the June 4 incident to prevent a similar tragedy from occurring.

A few days before his death, his wife and elder son found a letter that Ya had written explaining his plan to take his own life, citing years of injustice, but his family did not take the letter seriously.

Tiananmen Mothers founder Ding Zilin, said it was the first time a member had committed suicide over despondency at the fight against the authorities.

'We didn't expect that he would end his life like this,' Ding said of Ya.

'Every time he met us, he asked how the campaign was going.

'It was disappointing to him every time.'