Hong Kong – New creation withdrawn in memory of Tiananmen

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The University of Hong Kong on Saturday hid an inscription paying tribute to the victims of the Tiananmen repression, just weeks after similar works were removed from various campuses in the city.

The servants closed the inscription.

AFP

On Saturday, on the HKU campus, a large inscription paying homage to Tiananmen’s “martyrs” who had so far escaped censorship was covered with sheet metal. An AFP reporter saw workers covering up this graffiti: “The heroic spirit of martyrs killed in cold blood will live forever and the fire of democracy that conquers evil will never be extinguished.”

According to media reports, the sentence was written on the sidewalk floor after the Tiananmen events. Every year since then, student leaders have painted letters white as a symbol of grief.

HKU did not want to say whether the inscription was deliberately destroyed when contacted by the AFP. However, the university “routinely carries out maintenance work at various locations and facilities, and the site is one such project,” a spokesman said.

The University of Hong Kong on Saturday hid an inscription paying tribute to the victims of the Tiananmen repression, just weeks after similar works were removed from various campuses in the city.

Return of power

Hong Kong has long been with Macau as the only place in China to commemorate the June 4, 1989 massacre in Beijing. But Beijing withdrew its dictatorial identity in the former British colony in 2019 after massive and sometimes violent protests, imposing a national security law criminalizing any kind of dissent.

In December, a “pillar of disgrace” erected in memory of Tiananmen on the campus of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) was torn down. The next day, sculptures commemorating the 1989 pro-democracy movement were removed from two other universities in the city.

Voices of protest are low

Since Beijing took control of Hong Kong, protests on the city’s premises have gradually subsided, leaving the oases of independence once free from censorship of China’s mainland. Demonstrations were banned, several student unions were blacklisted and new “national security” courses were introduced.

For 30 years, a candlelight vigil has been held in Hong Kong to mark Tiananmen’s anniversary. Authorities have banned the last two awareness programs, arrested key organizers for sabotage, and closed the museum on June 4, 1989.

(AFP)

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