Police detained at least 11 Chinese activists after a pair of small events to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, according to human rights groups and activists.
Meanwhile, thousands gathered in Hong Kong for the annual candlelight vigil to remember the events of June 4, 1989, which have gained added poignancy in recent years in view of a continuing struggle for democracy there.
Tiananmen Square and the rest of Beijing are habitually placed under tight security for the anniversary, but activist Li Xiaoling apparently had her photograph taken at the square in the early hours of June 4. In it, she is holding up a sign bearing an image of her with a patch over her left eye, after an operation last month for injuries allegedly inflicted by police.
Li and fellow activists Li Zhou and Pu Yongzhu were taken to Xicheng police station in Beijing, Amnesty International and human rights activists said.
— 周锋锁 Fengsuo Zhou (@ZhouFengSuo) June 3, 2017
The sign reads: “Li Xiaoling from Zhuhai: tour of light on June 4th.”
Activists also commemorated the anniversary in Zhuzhou in southern Hunan province, taking photographs such as the one below, in which they form the Chinese characters for six and four, marking the sixth month and fourth day, the date of the crackdown.
At least eight members of the group have been taken away by police, while at least two are unreachable, according to activists and rights groups.
Police in Beijing’s Xicheng district and in Zhuzhou did not respond to calls seeking information.
Tens of thousands of troops and tanks converged on Tiananmen Square to quash months of protests on the night of June 3-4, 1989. Several hundred people were killed — possibly several thousand — and more than 1,600 people nationwide were subsequently jailed. The final prisoner, Miao Deshun, a factory worker from Beijing, was released in October, with serious mental and physical health problems.
SOURCE: Simon Denyer
The Washington Post