Tiananmen Square: 21 Years Later Still No Justice or Freedom

Twenty-one years after the massacre in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 3rd and 4th, 1989 – which killed scores of students and peaceful protesters – justice still has yet to be served for its victims, and citizens of China are still being denied their rights to freedom of expression. Any sort of commemoration and criticism of the events are strictly prohibited by Chinese authorities, as they continue to accuse citizens of “inciting subversion,” and imposing lengthy imprisonment after unfair trials. Human rights defenders in China know these obstacles all too well, and continue to risk severe punishment – especially around this time every year.

 Commemorative activities organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (The Alliance) were brought to an abrupt halt by police on May 29th and 30th.

Three girls stand in Tiananmen Square on a day of rememberence of the 1989 event

Three girls stand in Tiananmen Square on a day of rememberence of the 1989 event

The organizers had followed procedures for regulating public assemblies, but the police claimed additional ‘entertainment’ licenses were required, confiscated exhibits including two statues of the Goddess of Democracy and arrested 15 people.

Amnesty released a public statement commemorating today’s anniversary, in which we condemned the Chinese authorities’ efforts to cover up the massacre and bring those responsible into investigation.  Furthermore, we continue to urge the Chinese government to stop suppressing citizens who exercise their fundamental rights to freedom of expression.

One such case where the government’s crackdown on free expression has been apparent is that of Shi Tao, a journalist and poet based in Hunan province. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2005 for his email communications about the 1989 massacre.  After using his Yahoo! email account to send pro-democracy messages to foreign websites, he was charged with “illegally providing state secrets to foreign entities”.

Internet company Yahoo! disclosed the contents of Shi Tao’s personal email messages where he summarized a Chinese Central Propaganda Department communiqué on how journalists should handle the 15th anniversary of the 1989 crackdown.  The company’s role in turning over this information was key evidence leading to Shi Tao’s conviction.

Shi Tao, and countless other individuals, are still imprisoned for their communications about the 1989 crackdown. And after 21 years of suppressing Chinese expression, it’s painfully clear that justice and freedom are long over-due.

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14 thoughts on “Tiananmen Square: 21 Years Later Still No Justice or Freedom

  1. I wonder whether on the 18th of May 2029, I would get to see a blog on this site saying "20 years down the line and there is still no action against Sri Lanka killing Piribaharan and it's (mentally challenged) fellow LTTEers"

    PLEASE – these countries have move forward and they are building their nations – Time AI should move forward too.

    China had an issue where some western countries wound up these innocent Chines kids to protest for no reason and in the event get in to violent acts ending in death. If at all, it is those who wound them up that needs to be taken to courts !!

  2. I wonder whether on the 18th of May 2029, I would get to see a blog on this site saying “20 years down the line and there is still no action against Sri Lanka killing Piribaharan and it’s (mentally challenged) fellow LTTEers”

    PLEASE – these countries have move forward and they are building their nations – Time AI should move forward too.

    China had an issue where some western countries wound up these innocent Chines kids to protest for no reason and in the event get in to violent acts ending in death. If at all, it is those who wound them up that needs to be taken to courts !!

  3. We're still waiting for Madeleine Albright and her cronies to be indicted for Western bloc sanctions resulting in the deliberate slow murder of an entire generation of Iraqi children.

    More than 50,000 Iraqi kids murderedand Albright's famous reply:
    " I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

    So, the Chinese leadership must have made the same calculation, ("it was worth it") as "regrettable" as that must have been.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the Chinese have something to teach us about how to deal with corrupt bankers and embezzling businessmen.

    "Three former Chinese bankers and one accomplice convicted of fraud have been executed amid vows to crack down on corruption in the banking system.. http://tinyurl.com/yle9ugp

    Wow! Now, that's what I call taking decisive action against bankers! :)

  4. We're still waiting for Madeleine Albright and her cronies to be indicted for Western bloc sanctions resulting in the deliberate slow murder of an entire generation of Iraqi children.

    More than 50,000 Iraqi kids murderedand Albright's famous reply:
    " I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

    So, the Chinese leadership must have made the same calculation, ("it was worth it") as "regrettable" as that must have been.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the Chinese have something to teach us about how to deal with corrupt bankers and embezzling businessmen.

    "Three former Chinese bankers and one accomplice convicted of fraud have been executed amid vows to crack down on corruption in the banking system.. http://tinyurl.com/yle9ugp

    Wow! Now, that's what I call taking decisive action against bankers! :)

  5. We're still waiting for Madeleine Albright and her cronies to be indicted for Western bloc sanctions resulting in the deliberate slow murder of an entire generation of Iraqi children.

    More than 50,000 Iraqi kids murderedand Albright's famous reply:
    " I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it."

    So, the Chinese leadership must have made the same calculation, ("it was worth it") as "regrettable" as that must have been.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the Chinese have something to teach us about how to deal with corrupt bankers and embezzling businessmen.

    "Three former Chinese bankers and one accomplice convicted of fraud have been executed amid vows to crack down on corruption in the banking system.. http://tinyurl.com/yle9ugp

    Wow! Now, that's what I call taking decisive action against bankers! :)

  6. We’re still waiting for Madeleine Albright and her cronies to be indicted for Western bloc sanctions resulting in the deliberate slow murder of an entire generation of Iraqi children.

    More than 50,000 Iraqi kids murderedand Albright’s famous reply:
    “ I think this is a very hard choice, but the price — we think the price is worth it.”

    So, the Chinese leadership must have made the same calculation, (“it was worth it”) as “regrettable” as that must have been.

    On the other hand, I wonder if the Chinese have something to teach us about how to deal with corrupt bankers and embezzling businessmen.

    “Three former Chinese bankers and one accomplice convicted of fraud have been executed amid vows to crack down on corruption in the banking system.. http://tinyurl.com/yle9ugp

    Wow! Now, that’s what I call taking decisive action against bankers! :)

  7. Dear Editors,

    The massacre at the Gate of Heavenly Peace marks the end of the Revolution & of socialism, & the death of Chinese youth as an independent force for change.

    The unmarked graves of those who fall in the struggle to be free have this duality about them…

    They form the foundation of the new order, their very negator.

    And they act as the ground for the rebirth of all the futures in the unborn generations, the negation of their negation.

  8. Dear Editors,

    The massacre at the Gate of Heavenly Peace marks the end of the Revolution & of socialism, & the death of Chinese youth as an independent force for change.

    The unmarked graves of those who fall in the struggle to be free have this duality about them…

    They form the foundation of the new order, their very negator.

    And they act as the ground for the rebirth of all the futures in the unborn generations, the negation of their negation.

  9. Some may wonder, Why talk of crimes after a score of years, or even a score of centuries, in some cases? Why not "move on"?

    Marcus Garvey spoke about this.

    Garvey, the Black american Africanist nationalist.

    He said,

    The bones of injustice have a peculiar way of rising from their graves & plaguing later generations.

    Garvey understood.

  10. a.savage Says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 1:49 am </b?

    Some may wonder, Why talk of crimes after a score of years, or even a score of centuries, in some cases? Why not “move on”?

    There’s no going forward without first going back.

    Shall we start from the era of Vikings to Europeans attacking the Mayan's the Inca's and the Red Indians ?????

    Wise man told to go back to learn from the past, correct the mistakes and not repeat them in the future. Not to live in the past and dwell on it like pre-historic Apes !

  11. Some may wonder, Why talk of crimes after a score of years, or even a score of centuries, in some cases? Why not “move on”?

    Marcus Garvey spoke about this.

    Garvey, the Black american Africanist nationalist.

    He said,

    The bones of injustice have a peculiar way of rising from their graves & plaguing later generations.

    Garvey understood.

  12. a.savage Says:
    June 10th, 2010 at 1:49 am </b?

    Some may wonder, Why talk of crimes after a score of years, or even a score of centuries, in some cases? Why not “move on”?

    There’s no going forward without first going back.

    Shall we start from the era of Vikings to Europeans attacking the Mayan’s the Inca’s and the Red Indians ?????

    Wise man told to go back to learn from the past, correct the mistakes and not repeat them in the future. Not to live in the past and dwell on it like pre-historic Apes !