Prohibitions Dampen Voice amidst 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre
Asia, News

Prohibitions Dampen Voice amidst 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre 

Amidst the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre, also known as June Fourth Incident, Chinese government has enforced strict rules and regulations by arresting protestors and strengthening restrictions on the internet on anything related to the massacre or its anniversary.

In May 1989, thousands of protestors gathered at the Tiananmen Square in Beijing, impelled by the death of the leading politician, Hu Yaobang. The protestors protested for the right to freedom of speech and lesser restrictions. Soon, the number grew up to a million in support of the protests. 

However, on June 3 and 4, armed forces crushed the protest by killing and arresting the gathered protestors. It is believed that around 10,000 people had died during the action taken by the armed forces.

Chinese government have prohibited reporting or debating in lieu of the event. Several activists have been arrested and restrictions have been imposed on the entry of foreign journalists. The law authorities have also restricted photographing at the event, with a strict check on the attendees of the event with IDs and facial recognition.

To mark the anniversary of the massacre, an inflatable art work of the “Tank Man”, was put for display. On June 5, 1989, an unidentified man stood in front of the tanks, blocking their path to the Tiananmen Square. Since then he became the “face” of the protests and is known as “Tank Man”.

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State, has asked the Chinese government to release the human rights prisoners. He has also urged the government to reveal the details of the persons missing and people who died during the protests.

 “Such a step would begin to demonstrate the Communist Party’s willingness to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Pompeo said.

“We call on China to release all those held for seeking to exercise these rights and freedoms, halt the use of arbitrary detention, and reverse counterproductive policies that conflate terrorism with religious and political expression,” he added.

However, Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe came forward on Sunday and mentioned the action of the armed forces leading to the Tiananmen Square Massacre as a “correct” strategy to terminate the “political turbulence” at the time.

Even though the young Chinese generation is ignorant of the massacre and the common people are not allowed to speak about it, the actions of the Chinese government might be a way to repress the memories of the protests or to subdue the possibility of being held accountable for the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

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