On the 22nd anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Massacre, supporters of Chinese democracy held memorial activities around the world, demanding that China provide full accounting and free any citizens still serving sentences. Governments also called on the Chinese regime to release all those detained, disappeared, or placed under house arrest in recent months amid Beijing’s fears of a jasmine revolution.
On June 4, 1989, the world watched on television as the Chinese communist regime sent troops, tanks, and guns to put out the student democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. Though 22 years have passed, the Chinese regime still refuses to acknowledge the massacre and redress the victims openly.
At least five participants of the peaceful protest are known to still be imprisoned, Reuters said.
In Hong Kong, more than 150,000 people attended a candlelight vigil at Victoria Park to commemorate those killed in the June 4 massacre. Mainland Chinese also participated, including people who traveled from China to Hong Kong solely for this event, Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Movements in China, the event organizer, said.
In Macau, another candlelight vigil at the central fountain at Our Lady of the Rosary church drew over two hundred people.
In Taiwan, president Ma Ying-jeou appealed to Beijing in a statement saying, China must respect human rights and make political reforms if it wants to integrate into the international community. The first step toward political reform should be tolerance toward dissidents, and appreciation for their value to society. Ma said he hopes for the immediate release of Liu Xiaobuo and Ai Weiwei.
The U.S. called on China to free opponents and respect the basic rights of its citizens.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, “We ask the Chinese government to provide the fullest possible public accounting of those killed, detained or missing and to cease the ongoing harassment of those who participated in the demonstrations and the families of the victims.”
Toner also called on China to release all those detained, forcibly disappeared, or placed under house arrest in recent months as China has taken actions that are inconsistent with universally recognized human rights.
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi said: “Today, the spirit of Tiananmen lives on in the hearts and minds of those continuing the struggle both in China and abroad.”
Pelosi called for the release of Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, activist Liu Xianbin, artist Ai Weiwei, and lawyers Tang Jitian, Teng Biao, Jiang Tianyong and Gao Zhisheng.
In the Mainland
In Mainland China, Chinese Communist Party officials have approached individual members of the organization Tiananmen Mothers, offering compensation for family members who were killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre. The mothers have declined and said they want an open dialogue with the government as a group, and they want accountability, The Epoch Times reported previously.
Web users developed secret codes for the June 4 massacre to avoid the regime’s censorship. One of the code phrases was used by a group in Hong Kong to produce twenty thousand memorial badges that say, “May 35” with an upside-down bottle and a dead deer—homophones for: “Redress the Victims of the June 4 Massacre.”