10/26/2023, 17.22
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Mainland student in Hong Kong missing over sketch remembering Tiananmen

Zeng Yuxuan, 23, was jailed for six months over a drawing of the "Pillar of Shame", a statue that honours the victims of the massacre. Repatriated in Shenzhen as an unwelcome person, she is now missing; her mother has suffered the same fate. This case is the latest in a long list of repressive acts against activists. The young woman’s supporters have set up a Facebook page open to anyone concerned about her fate.

Beijing (AsiaNews) – A group of Hong Kongers created a Facebook page and urged people to join to raise awareness about the fate of a Chinese postgraduate student who was jailed in Hong Kong. After her release, she was expelled to mainland China where she is now missing.

Zeng Yuxuan was arrested under Beijing’s infamous national security law for planning to display a drawing of the Tiananmen Square massacre of 4 June 1989, one of the darkest days in Chinese history.

After she purged her sentence in Hong Kong, she was deported to mainland China, and has not been heard ever since. Her mother appears to be missing as well.

The 23-year-old doctorate student was studying law at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, this according to local sources.

She was sentenced to six months in prison for planning to commemorate Tiananmen Massacre and was expelled.

Some Hong Kongers living overseas set up a Facebook page, "The safety concern of Zeng Yuxuan", dedicated to her. About 200 people are now members of the group, but it remains open to anyone who wants to join its signature campaign.

"We urge the international community to pay attention to the safety and freedom of Zeng Yuxuan. In the absence of information about her whereabouts, we should come together, make collective efforts, and ensure her safety and personal freedom," the campaign statement reads.

Zeng Yuxuan was initially detained on 1 January, allegedly for mourning the death of a man who killed himself after stabbing a police officer on the city's handover anniversary in 2021.

Released on bail, she was charged a second time for planning to display a drawing of the "Pillar of Shame”, a statue that commemorated the June 4 massacre. The piece of art depicted the bloodied bodies and faces of pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese authorities.

In addition to the statue, the young woman’s drawing included some text: “The old cannot kill the young forever” and “The Tiananmen Massacre June 4th 1989”.

At her trial, she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison.

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that after her release, she was expelled to the mainland as an “unwelcome” person, and has been missing after she crossed the border and went to Shenzhen. Her mother filed a missing person report on 12 October, but she too has not been heard of since 20 October.

The activists behind the campaign want to keep Zeng Yuxuan's case alive and find out what her fate is; they strongly condemn the systematic violation of human rights and individual freedoms in China and Hong Kong.

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental right for every individual, and governments should protect and respect this right,” the Facebook page reads. Conversely, “the persecution of Zeng Yuxuan by the Chinese and Hong Kong governments not only violates this right but also raises questions about the overall human rights situation."

Zeng Yuxuan was in Hong Kong on a temporary permit. She is the first non-resident to be convicted of "subversion" under the law.

The "Pillar of Shame" was created by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot and erected on the campus of the University of Hong Kong. It was dismantled and removed in December 2021 after China imposed its national security law on the former British colony.

Hong Kong police have refused to return it to its author, claiming it as evidence in a criminal case. Any form of commemoration of 4 June is banned.

Several mainland Chinese who joined protests in Hong Kong have been arrested once they went home.


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See also
Museum dedicated to Tiananmen Massacre reopens
06/05/2019 13:13
For Lee Cheuk-yan, the Tiananmen vigil is a ‘struggle of memory against forgetting’
17/11/2021 14:18
Online prayer in Hong Kong to break the silence 35 years after Tiananmen
15/05/2024 18:12
Hong Kongers ready to defy ban against 4 June Tiananmen massacre memorial
01/06/2021 13:36
Hong Kong activists have not forgotten Tiananmen Square
01/06/2018 14:50


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