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China: Ya Weilin, father of Tiananmen protester, commits suicide

Ya Weilin killed himself just ahead of the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

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Policemen patrol at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. (Feng Li/AFP/Getty Images)

BEIJING, China — Ya Weilin, the father of a protester killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, has committed suicide just ahead of the anniversary of his son's death.

Ya's son, Ya Aiguo, was shot in the head aged 22 by troops in Beijing on the night of June 3, 1989.

The group Tiananmen Mothers, which represents victims and family of victims of the June 3-4, 1989 crackdown, said 73-year-old Ya hanged himself in protest last week after trying for more than two decades to get the Chinese government to address the issue.

His body was found in a parking garage below his residential complex at a Beijing hospital where he used to work.

Human Rights in China issued an English translation of an obituary released by Tiananmen Mothers. 

"The death of Mr. Ya — an ordinary citizen who, having given up hope in his long-term demand, ended his life in such a resolute way to protest the government’s brutality — is a new sin that has been added to old un-redressed grievances," the obituary said.

The Associated Press said that the Tiananmen Mothers group has for years called for an investigation into the possibly thousands of deaths at Tiananmen Square. The group yearly issues open letters asked for China's leaders to pursue a full investigation, punish those responsible and provide compensation to the victims and their families.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/120528/ya-weilin-father-tiananmen-protester-commits-suicide