May 31 - Families demanding justice for the victims of China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown release an open letter denouncing new Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to introduce political reforms. Sarah Sheffer reports.
24 years after her son was killed in China's Tiananmen Square crackdown, Ding Zilin is still waiting for an apology. On June 3rd 1989, Zilin's 17-year-old son ignored her pleas and joined the protests in the heart of Beijing. That was the last time she saw him alive. Zilin and other members of Tiananmen Mothers, a group of families demanding justice for their loved ones killed in the crackdown, released an open letter on Friday denouncing new Chinese President Xi Jinping for failing to introduce political reforms. Xi became president in March at a time of growing public pressure for long-stalled political change. But his party has given little sign that it will make the called-for changes. Back in 1989 after initially tolerating the student-led demonstrations, the Communist Party sent troops to crush the protests on the night of June 3, killing hundreds. China's foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday that the state would not change its stance on the deadly crackdown. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN HONG LEI SAYING: "China has already reached a clear conclusion on the political turmoil that took place at the end of the 1980s as well as on all related issues." A handful of people remain in prison 24 years on, with many families are still seeking closure.