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CSW statement on 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre

3 Jun 2019

CSW has released a statement to mark the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in China on 4 June 2019.

In June 1989, Chinese army troops brutally supressed peaceful protests for freedom and democracy, killing and wounding thousands of people in Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

To mark the 30th anniversary of the tragedy this year, vigils and events are being held in Hong Kong, London, Washington DC and other cities around the world.

CSW issues the following statement in solidarity with everyone in China and beyond its borders seeking justice for the events of that time:

On the 30th anniversary of the government’s bloody crackdown on the Tiananmen Square Protests in 1989, CSW joins organisations and individuals around the world in remembering once more the brutal and tragic events of that time. We stand with the surviving family members of the victims, who, three decades on, are still seeking justice and truth. We commend their courage and their determination, at the same time as we condemn the authorities’ forceful suppression of their rights.

30 years on from the bloodshed, we are dismayed by the current human rights situation. Under President Xi Jinping there has been a pattern of increasing human rights abuses: a stranglehold over civil society; a heightened sensitivity to perceived challenges to Party rule; and the introduction of legislation that curtails civil and political rights in the name of national security. There has also been a rapid and alarming decrease in freedom of religion or belief, marked by the closure of thousands of temples, churches and mosques, the detention and disappearance of religious leaders, and the stripping away of religious symbols and signs. An attack, as one pastor put it, on the soul.

In such an environment, what hope is there for change? The hope lies with the brave, determined individuals who choose to stand up to oppression: activists, students, workers, academics, journalists, religious leaders, and lawyers. We stand with them today.

We end with the words of the Tiananmen Mothers, translated by Human Rights in China:

“The hard facts of the massacre are etched into history. No one can erase it; no power, however mighty, can alter it; and no words or tongues, however clever, can deny it.”

On 4 June 2019, we remember. We honour. We do not forget. 

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We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs