Tiananmen crackdown: Repression intensifies on eve of 25th anniversary

On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, Amnesty International has documented a further 30 activists that have been persecuted as the Chinese authorities attempt to suppress those that seek to commemorate the victims of 4 June 1989. 

Those targeted in the past few days include Luo Xi, who was a student activist in 1989, who has been criminally detained and Bao Tong, 81, a former political aide to the late Communist Party leader Zhao Ziyang, who opposed the crackdown in 1989. Bao has been forced to leave Beijing. 

At least 66 people have now been detained by the Chinese authorities in connection to the Tiananmen anniversary. 

 “The past few days have seen the Chinese authorities ratchet up the repression. They appear willing to stop at nothing in their attempts to prevent people from marking the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown. They have gone further when compared to past years including the 20th anniversary, with more people criminally detained this time,” said William Nee, China Researcher at Amnesty International. 

“The authorities must cease this campaign of severe persecution. All those detained for peacefully speaking out about the Tiananmen crackdown must be immediately released. The authorities’ suffocating grip on freedom of expression will not stop people in China and around the world from remembering the victims of 4 June 1989.” 

The breakdown of those who have been detained by the Chinese authorities ahead of 4 June is as follows: 

18 activists have been criminally detained, including prominent human rights lawyers Chang Boyang and Pu Zhiqiang.20 people have been placed under house arrest, including Ding Zilin, spokesperson for Tiananmen Mothers, who is not allowed to return to Beijing.10 individuals are missing and believed to be detained.  10 people have been forced by police to travel to different cities in China, accompanied by National Security Officers, in an attempt to prevent them from marking the anniversary. 

A further 12 people have been questioned by police in recent weeks in relation to the Tiananmen anniversary. 

For the full list including names of individuals and dates when they were detained please visit (https://livewire.amnesty.org/2014/05/20/chinas-tiananmen-anniversary-blackout/) Amnesty International’s Livewire blog.

These are minimum figures that Amnesty International has been able to verify and more may have been detained or had restrictions placed upon them ahead of 4 June. 

Amnesty International reiterates its calls on the Chinese government to: 

Publicly acknowledge the human rights violations which occurred in the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989;Launch an open and independent inquiry and hold those responsible for human rights violations accountable;Provide compensation to victims of the 1989 crackdown and their families;Cease harassment and prosecution of those commemorating or speaking out about the 1989 Tiananmen protests and those more generally exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.