china trying to erase history, threaten human rights
China – The Chinese authorities are trying to “erase history” and “threaten human rights”, said US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, on the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre.
He said on Twitter that there have been attempts to erase the traces of history by the removal of Tiananmen memorials. Blinken further said that despite attempts to erase history, the US continues to promote respect for human rights.
The Tiananmen Massacre took place after the peaceful gatherings of people, students, workers, and others in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in April 1989. The protesters called for freedom of expression and an end to corruption. The government responded to the protests in May 1989 by declaring martial law.
However, in June, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers killed several peaceful protesters. In retaliation, some citizens attacked army convoys. Subsequently, the government arrested thousands of people on “counter-revolution”. The Chinese government never held any officials legally accountable for the killings.
Human rights violations by the officials
Beijing never provided a full account of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. The officials gave a death toll of about 300 people. However, human rights groups and eyewitnesses said that thousands of people might have been killed.
According to the Human Rights Watch, the Chinese authorities have increased the harassment and persecution of activists for commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre. Many activists are also behind bars for commemorating the Tiananmen Massacre.
Earlier, Hong Kong universities removed public artwork commemorating China’s 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.
In 2021, the University of Hong Kong removed “Pillar of Shame,” a large sculpture commemorating the massacre victims. The Goddess of Democracy statue was also taken away from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).