A Look Back At The Crackdown On Tiananmen Square
Published 3 June 2014
In April 1989, Chinese students began protesting on Beijing's Tiananmen Square to demand democratic reforms and an end to corruption. The rallies, sparked by the death of reformist Communist Party chief Hu Yaobang, quickly grew into mass pro-democracy demonstrations. On June 4, 1989, the Chinese military launched a violent crackdown against the protesters. The government has never released an official death toll, but estimates range from the hundreds to the thousands. Today, the Chinese government forbids any discussion in the media of the events of 1989.
Journalists protest against corruption on Tiananmen Square on May 17, 1989, during the six-week stretch of mass demonstrations. AS many as 1 million people joined the protest movement.
Demonstrators raise their fists and flash victory signs as they stop a military struck on its way to Tiananmen Square shortly after martial law was declared on May 20, 1989.
A military helicopter drops leaflets ordering protesters to leave Tiananmen Square immediately on May 22.
Demonstrators gather around a replica of the Statue of Liberty (back center) on June 2, defying the declaration of martial law and orders to leave the square.
Demonstrators camp out in tents during the mass protest movement.
A student tells soldiers to leave on June 3, shortly before the crackdown.
On the night of June 3, troops began to move against the protesters with tanks and armored vehicles. In this photo from June 4, students set an armored personnel carrier on fire.
Crowds of students surge through a police cordon to reach Tiananmen Square, which had been blocked by security forces on June 3 and 4.
A blood-covered protester holds a Chinese soldier's helmet following violent clashes with military forces on June 4. The crackdown killed hundreds of civilians -- and by some estimates, thousands. Dozens of servicemen were also reported killed.
A Beijing resident shows a slug from an automatic rifle that pierced the window of his apartment.
An unarmed man stands in front of a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace on June 5. The tanks moved around him. The man's identity has not been confirmed and little is known about his fate after the standoff.
Tanks guard a strategic avenue leading to Tiananmen Square on June 6 after protesters had been cleared from the area.
A screen shot from Japanese TV shows an accused "rioter" being led into a courtroom on June 22 for a summary trial before his execution. Hundreds of people were imprisoned for their roles in the protests.