More monuments to Tiananmen are being removed by universities in Hong Kong

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This is just the latest of a number of monumental removals that have been made in response to Tiananmen’s protests.

Hong Kong University has taken down two more monuments that commemorate the Tiananmen massacre.

Lingnan University meanwhile, removed a relief piece. A statue of Goddess of Democracy was taken down by the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

The move comes one day after Hong Kong University demolished a prominent statue that marked the same occasion.

Beijing continues to crack down on Hong Kong’s political opposition.

After the original 1989 statue by Chinese students, the Goddess of Democracy statue was recreated and paraded in Tiananmen square just prior to the crackdown.

Tiananmen Square in Beijing became the focal point of protests for more political freedoms in 1989. The square was home to thousands of protestors who stayed for several weeks. However, the military invaded and opened fire on June 1.

According to the Chinese government, 200 civilians died and several security officers were killed. Some estimates put the death toll at hundreds, while others suggest as high as 10,000.

Although CUHK could not confirm or deny the removal of the statue, it stated that it had removed an “unauthorized statue”.

“The University has never authorized the display of this statue on campus. No organization has taken responsibility for it maintenance or management,” CUHK stated in a Friday statement.

Lingnan University said that the school had removed the relief sculpture and had “reviewed, assessed and removed items” [these]…. University’s best interests.”

Lingnan University also had a spray painting of the Goddess of Democracy.

Hong Kong was once one of very few Chinese places that permitted public recognition of events around June 4, 1989. This topic is still highly sensitive in mainland China.

In 2020, Hong Kong officials banned the vigil, invoking Covid restrictions. The activists accused Hong Kong officials of falling prey to Beijing’s demands to suppress pro-democracy expression.

Tens of thousands defied the ban and attended the Vigil in Hong Kong that night. They knocked down the barricades around Victoria Park.

For their part in the vigil, nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were sentenced in October to six to ten months prison.

Jimmy Lai, a media mogul and businessman, was also sentenced to 13 months imprisonment earlier this month for his participation in the same vigil.

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Beijing last year introduced strict laws in Hong Kong to ensure national security. These include the criminalization of secession, terrorist acts, and collusion with foreign troops.

According to activists, the law is used by some groups to crush civil society and jail campaigners for democracy.

Source: BBC.com

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