Remembering Tiananmen: Western consulates in Hong Kong challenge Beijing's bans
Police is out in full force to prevent people from remembering the massacre carried out by the Chinese authorities on June 4, 1989. Some act individually near Victoria Park, site of the traditional memorial vigil. US and EU diplomatic missions light candles on the windows of their buildings. For Beijing, the events of 33 years ago do not deserve to be remembered.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – In a city under tight security to prevent any public memorial of the Tiananmen massacre, Western consulates have decided to defy Beijing's bans and commemorate the events of 4 June 1989.
Thirty-three years ago, Chinese authorities ordered the slaughter of thousands of students and citizens who had gathered in protest in Beijing's iconic square to demand freedom, democracy and an end to corruption in the country.
For the third consecutive year, Hong Kong authorities have banned the annual vigil at Victoria Park, where more than a million people could come together before 2020.
Police have warned that those who break COVID-19 restrictions and the national security law risk five years in prison.
At present, officers have stopped small individual actions around Victoria Park and in the Causeway Bay area.
The most visible initiative came from the US consulate and the European Union mission, which lit candles placed at the windows of their buildings.
Along with missions from Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and Poland, US diplomats paid tribute to the fallen of Tiananmen by sharing images and references to what happened in 1989 on social media.
Previously, Chinese authorities warned all consulates not to express opinions on the events of 33 years ago.
The pro-Beijing newspaper Ming Pao reports that for the central government the demonstrations of recent years in Hong Kong were illegal acts carried out by “a few people” hostile to China.
For China’s communist leaders, the Tiananmen Square massacre is now a thing of the past and does not deserve to be remembered.