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Tiananmen massacre: Relatives call for justice

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On the anniversary of the bloody crushing of the democracy movement on June 4, 1989, relatives of the victims demanded a fair reappraisal of this dark chapter in Chinese history. In an open letter, the „Mothers of Tiananmen“ asked the Chinese leadership to break their silence.

The archives are said to be open and the events that would have resulted in the deaths of their relatives are to be explained, the US broadcaster Radio Free Asia reported today on the document.

Still a taboo subject

Hundreds of people were killed in the deployment of the People’s Liberation Army against peaceful protesters around Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen) in Beijing. The exact number is still unknown. Thousands were injured and detained.

Even 31 years later, the topic is a taboo in China. Faced with the threat of US President Donald Trump to use the military in the anti-racism protests in the United States after George Floyd’s death, observers recalled the fatal consequences of the military operation in China at the time.

Public ban on commemoration

While public commemoration of the victims in China has always been prohibited, the police in Hong Kong for the first time in three decades banned the annual candle service in the Chinese special administrative region. The reason given was the ban on gatherings of more than eight people due to the coronavirus pandemic. But critics also suspected political motives. Activists still planned various actions across Hong Kong.

Tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents, who would normally have gathered in Victoria Park for the anniversary, were asked to instead light candles for victims of the massacre at other locations in the economic metropolis.

The atmosphere is heated because of increasing interventions by the Beijing leadership in the autonomy of the special administrative region. A week ago, China’s People’s Congress decided to enact a national security protection law for Hong Kong. It will target activities that are perceived as subversive or separatist. The law could come into force this month.