"This Democracy Movement deserves universal approval," he said inthe statement. "We ask that its requests be treated appropriately.We do not desire revenge but we want to completely reveal thetruth. We are in favor of tolerance, but against forgetfulness.People who are forgetful have no future," he said. Chen is one of a number of activists who have been imprisoned orare currently detained for campaigning for human rights orreligious freedom in Communist-led China. In the days leading up to June 4, many known pro-democracyactivists were said to have been detained as a pre-emptive measureto prevent dissent. |
"Many of my friends and fellow freedom fighters have been underhouse arrest. Especially in the last week or so, many were confinedunder soft detention without any freedom of movement," said Bob Fu,the founder of Christian human rights group ChinaAid who wasstudent protest leader back in 1989. "It was a tragic massacre for simply the students exercising thepeaceful protest for demanding reform and anti-corruption andfreedom in China," he said. While Tiananmen Square has become the focal point for the events ofJune 4, 1989, most of the casualties occurred outside the square.In the lead up to that fatal day, protests had spread beyondBeijing to cities including Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou. Andwhile students initiated the push for greater freedom, their causewas taken up by a broader section of society.
In China, there was no mention of the June 4 anniversary in localnewspapers on Monday. No comments on China's version of Twitter,Weibo, referred outright to the anniversary. Some users were saidto be trying to evade government censors by referring to "May35th." Others posted photos rather than messages, which were re-postedwith the term "RIP." One user posted a photo of a candle with thewords: "At this moment, on the other end of the dark night, acountry is celebrating their queen's 60 anniversaries as Monarch.We, on the other side of the earth however, are not allowed tolight the candles." This year, for the first time, the Hong Kong commemorations willinclude Chinese activist Fang Zheng, a former student activist wholost both legs when he was run over by a tank in the streets offTiananmen Square. He spoke about his experiences while visiting a temporary museumdedicated to the crackdown in Hong Kong, a special admininstrativeregion of China.
"A row of tanks, three in a row, came towards us. ... I don't knowwhether other students encountered the tanks before me, I couldhave been the first one," he said.
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