Amnesty International Rallies for Tiananmen Square Justice

Thousands of people attended Amnesty International UK’s demonstration outside the Chinese embassy in London to mark the anniversary of the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square.

Amnesty recreated the iconic ‘tank man’ image from Tiananmen Square, with survivor Shao Jiang standing in front of a real, full-sized tank outside Amnesty’s headquarters. Over 10,000 people across the UK signed a petition which was sent to the Chinese authorities on behalf of those whose children were killed by Chinese troops who opened fire on the peaceful protesters in Beijing on 4 June 1989.

The Tiananmen Square incident killed hundreds of people, with dozens of protesters still languishing in prisons after unfair trials. Many more activists have been arrested for questioning since the Chinese government’s actions in 1989.

Demonstrators laid thousands of red roses outside the Chinese embassy in a sign of solidarity for the mothers of those killed who are not allowed to mourn their child’s death publicly for fear of reprisals from the Chinese authorities. Along with the roses, a minute’s silence was held as demonstrators held aloft red roses in mourning for not just the fallen victims of Tiananmen Square, but also for those killed in the recent Sichuan earthquake.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“We appealed to the Chinese government to support the Tiananmen victims’ families’ simple demand – the freedom to publicly mourn the deaths of their children without harassment and a full investigation into the events of June 1989. The Chinese authorities still deny their people the right to peacefully protest 19 years on from the Tiananmen Square crackdown. It’s never been more important for people here in the UK to stand up for human rights in China.”

Tiananmen Square survivor Shao Jiang said:

“Back in 1989 in Beijing I helped organise the pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. I was arrested and held in prison for 18 months, followed by years of harassment and further detention. But I was still one of the lucky ones. Many of the participants were killed. I am here to commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen crackdown and to support the demands of the Tiananmen families”

Amnesty International Australia are also getting involved with a campaign to make China’s broken promise to improve human rights become a reality for its people.

 

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