1989 Participant's Profile: Wang Nan (王楠)

Yuetan High School in Beijing. At 3:30 a.m. on June 4, he was killed at the south end of Nanchang Street, south of Tiananmen Square. A bullet went in from his left forehead and came out from behind his left ear. His ashes are currently kept at Wanan Cemetery at the western suburbs of Beijing.

Testimony of Zhang Xianling, mother of Wang Nan:





Around 11:20 p.m. on June 3, 1989, Wang Nan took his camera, put on a motorcycle helmet, and went to Tiananmen Square on his bike. At about 11:00 p.m., he called a classmate, and said that he was going to take some historic pictures. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. on June 4 at Nanchang Street intersection, across from the north entrance of the Great Hall of the People, he was shot in the left forehead by the troops enforcing martial law. The bullet went into his left forehead, and came out behind his left ear. His helmet was dented by the bullet. After being treated in vain by some medical students who arrived after he was shot, he died at 3:30 a.m.


 

After Wang Nan was wounded, some civilians present wanted to take him to a hospital for treatment. But the troops had already arrived at the Nanchang Street intersection. They threatened the civilians with guns and would not allow them to carry him away. The soldiers also dragged the severely wounded Wang Nan to the side of the street. According to two witnesses - a driver and a student - at that time, an old lady knelt on the ground and begged the troops to let the civilians carry Wang Nan to a hospital. He was still a young student. One soldier pointed at the old lady with his rifle and threatened: "He is a rioter. If you continue to talk, I'll kill you." Later, from the north on Nanchang Street, two ambulances came by trying to get to Chang'an Boulevard to treat the wounded. But they were both stopped by the troops stationed at the intersection. From one of the ambulances, a male doctor came down at the request of the civilians, and tried to negotiate with the troops. He requested to take Wang Nan and several other wounded who were lying on the ground away from the scene for treatment. But the troops refused without hesitation. The doctor had to give up. The ambulances had no choice but return to the north from the way they came. Among the two ambulances, one was from the Beijing University Hospital, the other may have belonged to Xiehe Hospital.



At about midnight on June 4, some medical students and staff at medical instrument companies organized themselves into medical teams. They ignored warnings from the troops, and helped the wounded and the dead on their way from Xidan to Nanchang Street intersection. After they found Wang Nan and two other wounded, they immediately treated and bandaged their wounds. At that time, Wang Nan's heart was still beating weakly. After they saw Wang Nan's student ID, they immediately told the troops: he was still a high-school student, he had lost much blood and must be sent to a hospital for treatment. One soldier brought a colonel to the scene. The officer looked at the student ID, and had a more sympathetic attitude (according to the doctors, this group of soldiers was No.51010). He appeared to be caught in an awkward position, and said that they could treat the wounded at the scene, but could not take the wounded away. Besides bandaging and C.P.R, the students in the medical team had no other type of treatment to offer. Wang Nan finally died at 3:30am. When the doctors realized he was dead, they again requested to be allowed to carry the body to a hospital where his family could claim the body. The soldiers found another officer who was a captain. His attitude was extremely harsh. He said fiercely, "It can't be carried away. You all go away quickly. Otherwise, you will be arrested." But the doctors still waited till dawn. One doctor found a telephone and called the school. The other doctors who had remained were driven away by the troops. The security line was moved another twenty meters into Nanchang Street (These three doctors all came to find me later on).


After daybreak, the troops buried the dead on Chang'an Boulevard where they had died. Wang Nan and several others killed near him were buried west of the lawn in front of the No.28 High School to the west of Tiananmen (Since the lawn was destroyed, now bushes are grown there).





Around June 7, because the bodies were buried not far from the surface, their clothes became visible above the surface after a torrential rain. They also began to smell. So the school reported the matter to the Xicheng District Public Security Bureau. The health bureau and the public security bureau jointly exhumed the bodies. Since all identification documents (or death certificates) had been taken away by the soldiers who buried the bodies, these became unidentified corpses. Wang Nan had just returned from military training, so he had on an old uniform, and had a new military belt given to him that year. He was mistaken for a soldier. So his body was kept in a mortuary at the Chinese Medicine Hospital at Huguo Temple.

 

After the martial law troops checked several times, he was determined not a soldier. Only then was his school notified and his parents were asked to identify his body.



After Wang Nan's death, his parents' health seriously deteriorated. His father suffers from heart disease, and his mother has severe neurasthenia.



Zhang Xianling
 

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