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‘Tank man’ photographer urges China to open up on Tiananmen

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — The American photographer who shot the iconic image of a man standing in front of tanks at the 1989 Tiananmen protests says it’s time for the Chinese government to come clean about the bloody events of 30 years ago.

Jeff Widener was an Associated Press photo editor based in Bangkok when he was called in to help cover a growing student-led pro-democracy movement centered on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

The day after the military crushed the protests on June 3-4, Widener took the shot of an unknown man holding shopping bags facing a row of tanks. The photo of “tank man” became one of the most famous images of defiance of the 20th century.

Widener says he doesn’t understand why China’s leaders won’t reveal the truth behind the crackdown.

Associated Press

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