WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the leading Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre:

“Around the world over the last quarter century, the image of a single man standing before a column of tanks has been seared into our collective memory. When we think of that man, we think of the struggle for basic human rights and greater freedom, and the brutal lengths to which oppressive governments will go to hold onto power.

“We don’t know who he was, but we do know why he joined the throngs of peaceful protesters in Tiananmen Square that day, and what they wanted: to choose their own leaders; to participate in an open society and economy; to speak, worship, and gather freely and without fear—the same liberties that people living under the yoke of tyranny everywhere are crying out for.

“The Chinese government has worked to erase the record of June 4, 1989. Chinese authorities continue to imprison dissidents, harass activists, and flout international human rights standards. But abuse and intimidation cannot extinguish the spirit of those still fighting for their dignity. A revisionist history cannot wipe away the faces of those who have lost their lives.

“Today, we remember them, their courage, and what they died for. And we renew our commitment to stand alongside people everywhere working to build a world that is freer and more just.”

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Click here to view Rep. Engel’s video commemoration of the anniversary