CUSIB Supports Media Coverage for Tiananmen Massacre Commemoration
On Friday, November 15, 2013, the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting’s Advisory Board Member Jing Zhang and CUSIB Executive Director, Ann Noonan participated in a press conference about the upcoming 25th Commemoration of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. The press conference, held in Flushing, New York, was organized and attended by prominent participants of the 1989 Democracy Movement in China.
This event was covered thoroughly in Chinese by Radio Free Asia (RFA).
Speakers discussed plans about the mobilization of people in all walks of life to realize the great human suffering that occurred in China on 6-4-89. They insisted that people remember the day and the lives that are still impacted by the events that led up to and followed that day.
Jing Zhang, President and Founder of Women’s Rights in China, issued a strong statement in support of the Tiananmen mothers. She spoke about the need to help all parents whose children were killed by China’s government during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. She offered words of encouragement for all to support their call for justice and reparation.
In her statement, Ann Noonan, who also serves on the Board of the Laogai Research Foundation, represented both CUSIB and Harry Wu.
The following is the text of Noonan’s prepared statement:
“The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB) is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization working to strengthen free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries with restricted and developing media environments. CUSIB supports journalism in defense of media freedom and human rights by the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio and TV Marti, Radio Sawa, Alhurra TV and other U.S. taxpayer-funded media programs for international audiences produced by the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG).
We are working to make these programs more effective and better managed.
On behalf of the Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting, and the Laogai Research Foundation, I would like to thank today’s event organizers for welcoming me today to be part of the discussion about ways to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
We all know the significant role Voice of America played in 1989 as its broadcasts informed desperate Chinese students and citizens about what was taking place in their homeland. As the PRC military rode armored vehicles using machine guns against residents and students who blocked the roadways, Voice of America was there to be sure the story was told.
The US government realized the importance of these broadcasts into China when it established Tibetan, Mandarin, and Cantonese services. Television and internet services were added. So was Radio Free Asia.
I urge all who realize and appreciate the great value these broadcasts have had and can still have to remain vigilant to any efforts by the Broadcasting Board of Governors to eliminate any of these services from their budgets. As there have been threats to eliminate these services, CUSIB has been very successful in helping to prevent these cuts.
We remain concerned that the Broadcasting Board of Governors may plan to eliminate radio from its China broadcasting services, and we are hopeful that everyone in this room will join us to help keep these vital services in place. Radio is cheap, it’s free, and no one can monitor who is listening. It is a valuable source of hope and help, and we want it to remain.
The LRF is hopeful that these 25 year commemorations will encourage people throughout the world to keep a watchful eye on China’s government as it continues to cause tremendous suffering to many of its citizens. LRF remains committed to supporting the Tiananmen Mothers and their cry for justice. LRF remains committed to supporting an end to China’ laogai system, their brutal one-child policy, organ harvesting, religious persecution, and censorship.
We remain hopeful that as the world marks Chairman Mao’s 120 Anniversary, the truth will be told of the millions who starved to death during his regime, and the unspeakable horror which occurred during those years, including cannibalism, which LRF has documented.
We continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of Liu Xiaobo, and all prisoners of conscience who continue to languish in China’s prisons.
The Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – cusib.org) is an independent, nongovernmental organization which supports free flow of uncensored news from the United States to countries without free media.
For further information, please contact:
Ann Noonan, co-founder and Executive Director
Ted Lipien, co-founder