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TURMOIL IN CHINA : Witnesses Give Congress Graphic Accounts of Mangled Bodies in Beijing Massacre

June 23, 1989|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Several people who said they witnessed China's massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators gave Congress members graphic accounts Thursday, and one of them showed pictures of dead and mangled bodies.

Dr. Yang Jienli, of UC Berkeley, said he watched as 30 people were shot down by soldiers in half an hour on a street near Tian An Men Square in Beijing shortly after the firing started early on June 4.

"The soldiers got out (of a truck) and started firing automatic weapons at the people, who were shouting, 'Down with fascists,' " he said.

"Each time they fired weapons, three or four people were killed," he said. "Each time, the crowd went down on the ground. . . . Each time they stood up, they (troops) fired. Each time three or four were killed."

Yang and two others gave the accounts at a hearing by the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. The Chinese government said more than 100 troops and a similar number of civilians were killed. Western diplomats in Beijing have said hundreds of civilians were killed.

Qiao Giangliang, another witness, showed the caucus photographs he said he took, including one of a mass of flesh so mangled that it did not look like human bodies except for occasional arms and legs.

Qiao said the photograph was of bodies crushed by Chinese army tanks and taken to Wu Kesong, about four miles west of Beijing.

He also showed the hearing photographs of five bloody bodies on the floor of a hospital room and 12 other bodies covered with sheets in the hospital's parking lot.

Mitch Presnick, an American who was a student at Beijing University, said he did not see any of the initial killing but saw a 9-year-old boy dying later.

He said he was walking between army trucks that had been burned by demonstrators when he came on that scene.

"There was a 9-year-old boy," Presnick said. "He had been shot several times and was lying in the bed of the truck. His mother was crying and said, 'This is what they have done to my son.' "

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