China issued stern warnings to Western envoys against publicly commemorating the 33rd anniversary of the horrific Tiananmen Square massacre. According to a Hong Kong-based European ambassador, Beijing’s foreign ministry sent letters to embassy offices in Hong Kong and Macau, urging them to refrain from “tweeting/retweet or making a public statement about June 4.”reported the South China Morning Post.
The censorship attempt came after lHong Kong Police announce ban on annual vigil in the city to commemorate the victims of the 1989 mass execution.
Dozens of police officers patrolled Hong Kong’s Victoria Park on Saturday after police officers
authorities prohibited the public act of commemoration, which has lasted three decades. Although Chinese authorities cited COVID-19 as a reason to suspend public gatherings, critics, quoted by the Associated Press, said that stifling public sentiment for the Tiananmen Square victims is a sign of intensifying political repression in China. Hong Kong. This is the third consecutive year that Beijing has banned candlelight vigils in Hong Kong since the implementation of the National Security Law in 2020.
The annual candlelight vigil in Hong Kong used to be held every year until 2020 to remember the massacred pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
For 33 years, the communist authorities have been doing everything possible to erase these events from the collective memory. The history books don’t even mention them. And the comments on networks on the issue are systematically censored.
On June 4, 1989, the regime sent tanks and troops to repress the peaceful protesters who, for weeks, had occupied the emblematic Tiananmen Square to demand political change and the end of systemic corruption. The repression caused hundreds of deaths, more than a thousand according to some estimates.
According to the SCMP report, despite being semi-autonomous, Hong Kong and Macau are the only cities that held a public vigil to mourn the gruesome massacre. However, the authorities warned that any march related to the commemoration will be described as “illegal activity” and any social message about it will be considered an “act of incitement”.. China has also censored keywords such as “Tiananmen massacre” and “June 4” to quell social outrage.
The United States and Taiwan criticize the repression of the commemoration
On the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China last Friday of trying to “erase history” by continuing to threaten human rights on the mainland and in Hong Kong. Remembering the victims of “mass killings,” Blinken noted that the situation is little different today, “the fight for democracy and freedom continues to resonate in Hong Kong.” The statements by the top US diplomat come after Beijing banned the annual vigil to suppress commemoration of the massacre.
“The efforts of these brave people will not be forgotten. Every year, we honor and remember those who stood up for human rights and fundamental freedoms…” Blinken said in a statement.
The US secretary of state also denounced Beijing for alleged human rights abuses in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang. “We will continue to denounce and promote accountability of the PRC (People’s Republic of China) authorities and human rights abuses,” she said. Blinken remembered the fallen protesters and reaffirmed the US commitment to defend human rights even if they are threatened “by some.” She also praised rights activists who “continue to stand up” on behalf of democracy supporters who were at the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989.
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