Mark C. Toner, Deputy Spokesperson of the US State Department in a statement released on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown:
On this the twenty-third anniversary of the violent suppression by Chinese authorities of the spring 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations, the United States joins the international community in remembering the tragic loss of innocent lives.
We encourage the Chinese government to release all those still serving sentences for their participation in the demonstrations; to provide a full public accounting of those killed, detained or missing; and to end the continued harassment of demonstration participants and their families.
We renew our call for China to protect the universal human rights of all its citizens; release those who have been wrongfully detained, prosecuted, incarcerated, forcibly disappeared, or placed under house arrest; and end the ongoing harassment of human rights activists and their families.
Human Rights Watch argues that China’s “legacy of Tiananmen denial erodes rule of law”:
“It’s been more than three decades since the beginning of the ‘reform and opening’ era in China, yet the government has displayed little interest in reforming or opening when it comes to the protests and bloodshed from 1989,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “But demands inside China for meaningful legal reform and accountability are only increasing despite government resistance.” [Read full statement here.]
Yesterday, candles were snuffed out and Hong Kongers found themselves gagged on Sina Weibo, China’s largest microblogging platform.