As the Chinese government escalates its clampdown on free expression in Hong Kong, the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown risks being erased from the memory of the people. Chow Hang-tung is in prison for peacefully remembering the victims. Take action and call for her immediate release now.
On June 4, 1989, hundreds if not thousands of peaceful protesters were killed by Chinese troops in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing. Thousands were imprisoned. In the 33 years since public remembrances have been criminalized in mainland China.
This has made the annual commemoration in Hong Kong crucial. For over three decades, the Hong Kong Alliance had organized the world’s biggest candlelight vigil in Hong Kong to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown.
But the memory of the crackdown is at risk of being erased from Hong Kong too. Chow Hang-tung, a human rights lawyer and the former vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance, is serving 22 months in jail for “unlawful assembly” for peacefully commemorating the crackdown. She is also awaiting trial for “inciting subversion” under the Hong Kong National Security Law which could result in up to 10 years jail.
The Chinese government wants people to forget, but we must keep the victims of the Tiananmen Square crackdown alive in our memories. History cannot be erased and those detained for peacefully commemorating must be released.