The father of a man killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has hanged himself in protest after two decades of failed attempts to seek government redress, a support group said on Monday.
The group, known as the Tiananmen Mothers, said 73-year-old Ya Weilin's body was found in an unused underground parking garage below his residential complex in Beijing. He was believed to have killed himself on Friday. An obituary the group posted on its website said that according to Ya's family, he had carried a note that detailed his son's death and declared that he would die in protest because the issue had not been addressed for more than 20 years. Beijing police did not immediately respond to a faxed request for comment. Ya's death comes about a week ahead of the anniversary of the night of June 3-4, 1989, when the military crushed the weeks-long, student-led protests, possibly killing thousands of students, activists and ordinary citizens. Official silence has been maintained about the incident ever since, with nothing written in school textbooks and public discussion virtually taboo. The Tiananmen Mothers routinely issue open letters urging the country's leaders to account for the deaths. They have for years called for a full investigation, compensation to victims' families and punishment of those responsible for the military crackdown on student-led protesters. Members say the government has never responded. Ya's son Ya Aiguo was shot in the head by martial-law troops in Beijing, according to an obituary the support group posted on its website.