In mid-1989, a push for democracy by Chinese university students swelled into mass protests as hundreds of thousands of citizens converged on Tiananmen Square, in a movement that later swept across China.
But their calls for change were met with a brutal crackdown in the early hours of June 4. Afterwards, the ruling Communist Party branded the student movement a “counter-revolution”. Student leaders were jailed. Some fled China to live in exile, while others remained in the country, being detained at times and living under surveillance for the past three decades.
The South China Morning Post interviewed six witnesses and dissidents in China and abroad who shared their experiences of hardship since the night of the crackdown, and why they think China can never heal or move forward until Beijing reverses its verdict on the protests.
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Photo Credit George Washington University Archive