On the 4th of June 2021, people in Hong Kong are marking the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. On this day, in 1989, the government of the People’s Republic of China brutally suppressed tens of thousands of individuals advocating to have a say in their government and exercise their fundamental freedoms. The Czech Helsinki Committee honors the sacrifices of those killed 32 years ago.
In Hong Kong, for the second straight year, the authorities banned the annual vigil to commemorate the massacre, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for the restrictions. Thousands of officers have been placed on standby to stop any gathering from happening. In addition to that, Chow Hang Tung – a vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance that organizes annual vigils for Beijing’s deadly crackdown victims – has been arrested. Police warned of more arrests, calling citizens to respect the law.
The Czech Helsinki Committee condemns the ban on Hong Kong’s annual vigil and the imprisonment of Ms. Chow. We call on authorities to immediately allow commemorations of the occasion in Hong Kong, Macau, and mainland China and make sure people can realize their right to peaceful assembly. Furthermore, Ms. Chow Hang Tung, who was unlawfully arrested should be immediately released. We also call on the Chinese government to acknowledge and take responsibility for the massacre of an untold number of pro-democracy demonstrators in 1989.
The Czech Helsinki Committee