An elderly gentleman hanged himself two weeks before the 23rd anniversary of the June 4, Tiananmen Square incident, desperate and depressed from decades of “injustice”. This is believed to be the first suicide by a member of the Tiananmen Mothers group. Family members are also demanding for the return of a will written by the man that is believed to have been seized by police. In a letter to the family, he had detailed plans to take his own life, but family members did not take the letter seriously. South China Morning Post‘s Priscilla Jiao tells us more about him:
Ya Weilin was a 73-year-old retired hospital worker and member of the Tiananmen Mothers, a group largely comprised of victims’ families who advocate a change in the government’s position over the suppression of the pro-democracy protests in 1989.
The group issued an obituary yesterday saying Ya hanged himself in an unfinished underground car park at the No 2 Hospital of the former Ministry of Nuclear Industry, south of Capital Normal University in Haidian district.
He had lived with his wife in a residential part of the hospital, where he used to work.
He became a member of the Tiananmen Mothers because his second son, Ya Aiguo, was shot in the head and killed aged 22 in the Gongzhufen area of west Beijing, late on June 3, 1989, the obituary said.
Ya Weilin left his home at 10am on Thursday, and three of his family members – his son, daughter-in-law and niece – found his body at about 3.30pm on Friday.
Police took away the body and cremated it yesterday morning.
Also read this report by Gillian Wong of AP.