ZOn June 4, 1989, the anniversary of the bloody suppression of the democracy movement in China, the families of the victims demanded a fair reappraisal of this dark chapter in Chinese history. The relatives of the “Mothers of Tian’anmen” network requested the disclosure of the truth about the massacre in an open letter. At the same time, they asked for compensation.
Those responsible must be held accountable, says the letter that the human rights organization Human Rights in China (HRiC) published on Friday for the anniversary.
“Bloodbath is taboo for the government”
“But 32 years later we still see no official attempt to unseal and reveal the information about the bloodbath,” said the criticism in the letter. The massacre remains “a taboo for the government”.
Several hundred people were killed when the People’s Liberation Army was deployed against peaceful demonstrators around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The exact number is not known to this day. Thousands were injured and imprisoned.
Lawyer organized vigils
In light of the anniversary, Hong Kong police have taken custody of a well-known democracy activist. The lawyer Chow Hang-tung was arrested by four plainclothes police officers outside her office on Friday morning, a reporter for the AFP news agency reported. The activist was taken away in a black limousine.
Chow is a vice-chairman of an alliance that organizes a vigil every June 4th to commemorate the victims of the brutal crackdown in 1989. The authorities in Hong Kong had banned the memorial event for the second time in a row with reference to the corona pandemic.
The AFP learned from police circles that Chow was arrested under Section 17a of an ordinance prohibiting the publication of illegal gatherings. Chow had previously indicated in an interview that she would go to Victoria Park on Friday, where the Tiananmen vigil usually takes place.
Tens of thousands opposed the ban on assembly
Last year tens of thousands of people in Hong Kong opposed the assembly ban on the anniversary of the crackdown on the student pro-democracy protests. Several democracy activists were convicted of their participation, including Joshua Wong, one of the most prominent representatives of the democracy movement.
There were months of mass protests in Hong Kong in 2019 against Beijing’s growing influence. In response, the Chinese leadership passed the controversial so-called security law last year, which allows the Hong Kong authorities to crack down on any activity they believe threatens China’s national security.