Is the Tank Man is still alive? According to a report yesterday from Hong Kong-based newspaper Apple Daily, the young Chinese man who single-handedly blocked a long column of the Chinese military’s tanks on Chang’an Avenue during the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 is still in prison. His real name is Zhang Weimin, and he was imprisoned twice after the Tiananmen Massacre. For years, the Tank Man’s whereabouts remained a mystery. Citizen Power, a.k.a. Initiatives for China (CP/IFC) is highly concerned about this new clue.
The Tank Man’s photo, one of the most influential images of all time, inscribed his heroic act into history. The image continues to stand as a symbol for one individual’s defiance of state violence. For twenty-eight years, the whole world has been asking where the Tank Man is, but there have never been any reliable clues – he has never been identified, and no one knows what happened to him.
We have a responsibility to find this hero who inspires the world. His life and whereabouts are an important aspect of the truth of the Tiananmen Massacre, and this truth will directly drive China’s democratic transition in the future. This is why on December 10, 2015, on the fifth anniversary of Liu Xiaobo’s winning the Nobel Peace Prize, CP/IFC launched a campaign to search for the Tank man, calling on the world to demand the truth about him from China’s leader Xi Jinping.
CP/IFC has no professional ability to assess the media’s report about the Tank Man, nor can we confirm if Zhang Weimin is indeed real. But the purpose of our Finding Tank Man campaign is to seek truth, which we believe is the critical basis to clear the name for the 1989 pro-democracy protests and to achieve transitional justice. To resolve the mystery of the Tank Man once and for all, CP/IFC calls all our friends to provide Mr. Zhang Weimin’s information or give any clues that may help reveal the truth of the Tank Man.
Although we are not sure if Mr. Zhang is the real Tank Man we are searching for, he was still a participant in the 1989 pro-democratic movement, according to media reports, and is a hero who does not yield to the Chinese Communist regime’s violent repression. He is undoubtedly an integral part of the peaceful protests, for which he has paid the price with his freedom for nearly three decades. CP/IFC solutes Mr. Zhang Weimin and expresses our deep respect for him.
Let us not forget that the major obstacle for us to find the truth about the Tiananmen Massacre is the Chinese authorities. The truth about the Tank Man and his whereabouts, Zhang Weimin’s real identity, and other atrocities during the massacre are locked in the regime’s autocratic machinery, and hidden in the officials’ stubborn and rigid minds. China’s top leader Xi Jinping can and should reveal the truth. CP/IFC therefore calls on the international community to continue to press Mr. Xi, and to actively sign up to search for the Tank Man until the truth is found.
Please add your voice in seeking the truth about this historic stand for principle. Sign your signature and encourage others to sign. There is no deadline for this project, and we will continue to collect signatures until the truth is obtained.
Ways to sign
(1). Go to http://tinyurl.com/
(2). Enter First Name, Last Name, Email, Country, City or Zip code.
(3). If a street address is asked, and privacy is a concern, please enter N/A.
(4). Click sign
Note: When more than one people want to use one same device to sign, the previous signer must click the small arrow beside the signer’s name and then click Log Out before the following one to enter through the link.
Thank you so much for your support.