Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 104 Part 6.djvu/889

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PROCLAMATION 6134—MAY 12, 1990 104 STAT. 5279 Tragically, on the night of June 3-4, lethal force was used to crush the demonstrations. This action, far beyond the legitimate requirements of law and order, resulted in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed citizens. In the months that followed, many thousands more were detained and otherwise punished for their peaceful expression of political views. Harsh penalties were imposed for activities connected with the demonstrations. This suppression of dissent in Beijing and other major cities in June echoed the suppression of peaceful demonstrations in Tibet, where a series of demonstrations between October 1987 and March 1989 were put down with increasing severity by Chinese security forces, resulting in the deaths of scores of persons. Participants in subsequent, smaller demonstrations were also imprisoned or otherwise punished for nonviolent political dissent, and martial law was imposed on Tibet's capital from March 1989 until May 1, 1990. Steps have been taken in recent months that have resulted in some improvement. China lifted martial law in Beijing and Lhasa, announced the release of hundreds of prisoners who had been held for political activities, and stated its willingness to receive officially sponsored U.S. scholars and Peace Corps volunteers. The United States hopes that these steps will be followed by others that will demonstrate China's return to the path of reform. The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 275, has authorized and requested the President to issue this proclamation in support of freedom and human rights. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 13, 1990, as a National Day in Support of Freedom and Human Rights. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day in the spirit of commemorating those who died; drawing inspiration from the courage of those who held fast to their ideals in the face of violent suppression; and urging the Chinese Government to respond positively to the fundamental aspirations for freedom expressed in last year's demonstrations. These are the same fundamental aspirations so profoundly expressed by people around the world during the momentous events we are still witnessing—events that are daily advancing the cause of freedom and human rights. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twelfth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fourteenth. GEORGE BUSH