采访/朱智善 编辑/张天宇 后制/葛雷
Wenchuan Mothers Mourn Children’s Deaths
Today is Mother’s Day, and also marks the fifth anniversary
of the tragic Wenchuan earthquake.
It’s a sad day for mothers who lost their children
to the earthquake.
Countless children died during the quake,
due to poorly constructed schools, called “tofu buildings.”
The earthquake happened on May 12th, 2008
in Sichuan Province.
On the same day every year, people hold events
in memory of the victims.
For mothers who lost their innocent children,
it’s a painful memory.
Mrs. Song of Deyang city, a victim’s mother: “Very sad!
This time of year pains my heart, each year.
Just speaking of it breaks my heart.”
The official data shows that 7,000 schools collapsed
in the quake, and more than 5,300 school children died.
Parents appealed to the government asking for
poorly built schools to be investigated.
In particular, to investigate whether the buildings
were part of the shoddy “tofu buildings.”
However, almost all these parents were monitored,
stopped, beaten and threatened by the authorities.
Hong Kong media report that over 280 students at
Juyuan middle school in Dujiangyan city, died in the earthquake five years ago.
One of the parents, Zhou Xingrong, witnessed how the
classroom collapsed in the quake.
She says many years have passed, but on this day every year,
and during the Qingming Festival, police stop her from
going to the school to commemorate her son.
The report said, on May 11th, several tens of state security
officers and plain-clothes police surrounded her house.
They strictly controlled her freedom of movement and speech,
making her feel helpless and sad.
Zhou said she’s been to Chengdu and Beijing to appeal.
She was detained and sent to black jails many times.
Her hands and feet were put in chains.
After she was sent back to Dujiangyan,
they illegally extended her detention.
Zhou says she’s that as long as she is still alive,
she will appeal until the end. Until she can find justice for her son.
The same story is shared by many other mothers in Sichuan.
Mrs. Song, victim’s mother: “It’s inconvenient to speak now.
My phone is not suitable for me to speak on right now.”
Mrs. Yu, victim’s mother: “They don’t allow you to
Not even to town hall or to meet any officials.
They don’t allow me to do anything, they just stop me.”
Mrs. Yu said that her child died at school in the earthquake.
The government didn’t give any response, nor compensation.
They didn’t mention a single word of investigation
on the poorly constructed “tofu buildings.”
The Beichuan earthquake had the same result.
The government’s responded to parents:
“Whether it’s poorly constructed schools or not,
we can’t secure you if the earthquake exceeds magnitude 8.”
Mrs. Song: “We go there many times every year.
There is no result, nobody takes responsibilities.”
Mrs. Yu: “They didn’t do anything since,
the government didn’t do anything.
The government is useless.
Nobody wants to take the lead.
It’s felt that way for all these years.
Even if you go to the government, they don’t want to hear a word of it.”
Sources said that many victims’ mothers miss their children
so much, their health condition is deteriorating.
Mrs. Yu: “I am not well, taking medicine every day.”
Sources said that although the authorities dare not admit
collapsed school buildings had quality problems,
some experts had inspected 44 schools in the earthquake zone.
They found that nearly 60% of school buildings were
damaged beyond repair.
The figures are four times higher than government buildings.