06/03/2019, 15.04
HONG KONG
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Hong Kong ‘will always remember the martyrs of Tiananmen’

A Catholic source tells AsiaNews that 30 years since the massacre seem to have taught the Chinese and the world nothing. “China’s dictatorship has gotten more heavy-handed” whilst “the world seems to have forgotten us."

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – The people of Hong Kong "will forever remember the martyrs of Tiananmen Square, an event that sparked a chain reaction that spread the seed of democracy across East Asia,” said a Catholic source, anonymous for security reasons, speaking to AsiaNews.

However, “the world seems to have forgotten this, whilst China’s dictatorship has gotten more heavy-handed, even here with us. Once I would not have asked for it [anonymity]; I have never been ashamed of my positions, but the climate here is increasingly difficult and I fear for my family."

Overnight on 3-4 June 1989, the tanks sent by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping crushed protesters who for weeks had been demanding greater freedom and a democratic shift in the country.

The number of deaths has never been established due to government censorship. Their families have been ostracised ever since, whilst the authorities have denied that the protest movement was pro-democracy.

Most of the victims were workers and students who had gathered in the capital to commemorate the late Communist Party Secretary Hu Yaobang, who had been in favour of reform.

A pro-democracy rally is organised in Hong Kong every year to mark the occasion, commemorate the victims, and reiterate their demands vis-à-vis the Chinese government.

Local religious leaders also took part in the event, held at Victoria Park. Card Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, usually celebrates a Mass and walks with the protesters.

The source told AsiaNews, "This year I will participate, as always, but I fear it will be the last time.” The reason behind this fear is "the growing pressure, even violent, of Communist authorities.”

“Although some democratic guarantees are still in force in Hong Kong, the people in Beijing with (local complicity) have no qualms about kidnapping, removing, threatening and silencing people who speak their mind. Threatening their families is particularly despicable.”

The situation has gotten worse also because of "the world’s silence. The so-called democratic leaders in words support our requests, but in fact they bow to China’s economic power. It is a very sad situation. We fought for democracy when we had nothing, and today we are richer than 30 years ago, and believe that democracy is a luxury that we do not need. History will teach us how wrong we are."

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