Press Releases

06/04/2019

30 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre

Commemorate the victims, call out the perpetrators (Press Release)

Today, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), the Independent Chinese PEN Center, and the Federation for a Democratic China would like to draw attention to the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing. On June 4, 1989, hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of people got killed in the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations. The government in Beijing is still trying to suppress commemorations of the massacre. All media are under state control, and the internet and social media channels are censored. Many young people in China are not informed about the crime – and they are often also unaware of the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang and Tibet.

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) organized a vigil for the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing, which took place 30 years ago. Human rights activists gathered in front of the Chinese Embassy in Berlin, together with representatives of the Independent Chinese PEN Center and the Federation for a Democratic China.

On June 4, 1989, hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of people got killed in the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations, and thousands of government critics were arrested throughout the country. "The Chinese government never apologized to the relatives of those who got killed, and the actual number of victims was kept secret," stated Hanno Schedler, the STP’s Expert on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect. "On the contrary, a Chinese government official recently described the massacre as justified." It is noteworthy that the government in Beijing commented on the excessive violence at all – as the massacre is usually tabooed, and all commemorations are suppressed. All media are under state control, and the internet and social media channels are censored. Many young people in China are not informed about the crime. "The only possible option to heal the wounds would to be to initiate a process of coming-to-terms with the past. The Communist Party should listen to the families of the victims, instead of silencing them," Schedler emphasized.
In China, state oppression is not a relic of the past. In the Chinese media, the massive human rights violations in Xinjiang or Tibet are censored, and large parts of the population are unaware of the fact that more than 1.5 million Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz people are kept detained in reeducation camps.

On Monday (June 3, 2019), the STP broadcast a live interview (via Facebook) with Tienchi Martin-Liao, representative of the Independent Chinese PEN Center. The conversation focused on the massacre, its political and social consequences, and on the current situation in China. A link to the video can be found below.