Card Zen: justice for the victims of June 4, vigils to keep the memory alive
by Victoria Ma

Before the gathering in Victoria Park, the retired bishop led a moment of prayer for those killed in Tiananmen Square. “The June 4 incident has not passed,” he said. “History has to be passed onto the younger generations. Until today, many people in mainland China still suffer from suppression, forced disappearance or ‘forced suicide’.” Pictures from the vigil.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hundreds of Catholics gathered at the music pavilion in Victoria Park before the candlelight vigil last Saturday evening (June 4). Speaking at the event, Mgr Joseph Zen, Hong Kong’s cardinal emeritus, told those present, “Do not to forget the victims of the June 4 incident and their families; it is important to remember history and keep the memory alive.”

A group of Hong Kong people, including Catholics, also protested today outside the China Liaison Office, to demand justice and truth over the fate of Li Wangyang, a dissident who, according to Chinese authorities, committed “suicide” on June 6, 2012 after 22 years in prison for his participation in the June 4 pro-democracy movement.

“The June 4 incident has not passed,” Card Zen said. “History has to be passed onto the younger generations. Until today, many people in mainland China still suffer from suppression, forced disappearance or ‘forced suicide’.”

The cardinal, who had a fever that evening, said “many Hong Kong people consider it futile to remember the June 4 event, but people should not neglect China, though many do not want to identify with the mainlanders. It is all the fault of a China-controlled system, and the mainlanders are victims of the system too.”

“We, Hong Kong Chinese, should not forget those who built Hong Kong for us and must cherish the universal values left with us,” he said.

The 84-year-old prelate said he insisted to attend the vigils because he wanted to mourn and demand justice for those who were massacred and pray for those who are alive and still suffering from oppression.

Contrary to criticisms against the organizers of the Victoria Park vigils, the Hong Kong Alliance In support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, Card Zen thanked the Alliance for helping local people to keep alive the memory of the June 4 incident. “We have to live as a people with dignity,” he noted.

Without the Alliance to organize commemorations every year for the past 27 years, “many young people in Hong Kong might have become Red Guards,” he said. Events like the Tiananmen massacre or the Cultural Revolution could happen again.

On the effectiveness of the candlelight vigils, Cardinal Zen wondered whether we need any “immediate effect”. He said God created the universe long before the existence of the Chinese people.

 “As we still have freedom of speech in Hong Kong, we cannot stay quiet,” he said. “Let us pray that Hong Kong be a reunited society again,” he concluded.

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