Former Chinese student leaders involved in the 1989 democracy protests have initiated a civil lawsuit against key officials in the Chinese regime involved in the Tiananmen massacre, calling for hefty financial compensation which they then say will be used to establish a foundation.
The effort is being led by Tang Baiqiao, a longtime activist and president of Democracy Academy of China, based in New York. The suit will go after former premier Li Peng, called the “butcher of Beijing” for his leading role in pushing for a violent suppression of the protests, and former Party leader Jiang Zemin, who supported the crackdown. Two other officials—Deng Xiaoping and Yang Shangkun—were also named, but since they are now dead they are not targets of the lawsuit.
Tang himself was a student leader and spent three years in Chinese jails after 1989 on charges of “counter-revolutionary propaganda and incitement.” He held a press conference in New York on Dec. 2 about the civil suit.
All plaintiffs to the suit want compensation of $1 million U.S. dollars each, as well as a pool of $10 million which they say they will be used to establish a foundation to assist other victims. Hush money won’t be accepted, he said.
The work of forming a legal team and finalizing the approach and laws under which the men will be sued, if indeed there is a cause of action, will be done by Tang. He says he hopes to take legal action early next year.
Tang hopes to capture the energy of what he sees as a general frustration towards the Chinese regime domestically and outside China, and to use the case to support democracy in the communist country.
“This is only the first step in the prosecution. There will be more to come.” Tang told The Epoch Times at the conference. “There will be more participants. A vast responsibility and claim movement will form.”
A well known Chinese poet, Huang Xiang, came out to support the legal plan, speaking at the press conference.
He said with emotion that he spent half of his life in prison before he came to the United States, simply for things he had written. “How can anyone compensate this type of grievance?” he asked.
Read original Chinese article.
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