• Sun
  • Aug 31, 2014
  • Updated: 5:09pm
Tiananmen Square crackdown

UN rights chief urges China to halt Tiananmen anniversary sweep

Navi Pillay calls on China's authorities to come to terms with the events in Tiananmen Square 25 years ago and release activists detained in advance of anniversary

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2014, 9:46am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 June, 2014, 5:09pm

UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday called on China to release dozens of activists detained ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy protests.

“I urge the Chinese authorities to immediately release those detained for the exercise of their human right to freedom of expression,” Pillay said in a statement.

Dozens of individuals, among them human rights campaigners, lawyers and journalists are believed to have been detained in advance of the anniversary of the June 4, 1989, crackdown.

Several were reportedly charged with “creating a disturbance” because they took part in a private discussion about the events of 1989, which remain highly sensitive for China’s communist regime.

China forbids public discussion of what happened in 1989 when the military brutally suppressed pro-democracy protesters, mainly students, who had staged a mass sit-in on Tiananmen Square in central Beijing.

“It is in the interests of everyone to finally establish the facts surrounding the Tiananmen Square incidents.”
Navi Pillay

Troops killed hundreds of unarmed civilians – by some estimates more than 1,000.

Pillay noted that Chinese authorities had also slapped anniversary-related restrictions on social media, traditional media and internet users.

“Rather than stifle attempts to commemorate the 1989 events, the authorities should encourage and facilitate dialogue and discussion as a means of overcoming the legacy of the past,” she said.

She also said it was crucial for China to come to terms with what happened 25 years ago.

“In the absence of an independent, factual investigation, there are dramatically differing accounts. The death toll, for example, ranges from hundreds to thousands, and many families of victims are still awaiting an explanation of what happened to their loved ones,” she said.

“It is in the interests of everyone to finally establish the facts surrounding the Tiananmen Square incidents,” she added.

Pillay underlined that China had made strides since 1989, particularly in the area of economic and social rights, as well as legal reforms.

“Learning from events of the past will not diminish the gains of the past 25 years, but will show how far China has come in ensuring that human rights are respected and protected,” she said.



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This article is now closed to comments

Jonathan Smith
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay should go do her job properly. She should go question the US ****s that have slaughtered millions of Muslims in their cruel and barbaric War on Muslims and she should do something about the war criminals George Bush, Tony Blair, Richard Cheney etc. Please work on the terrible issues with the unending wars of the US and do your job.
Good point. Nothing to see here. Move along. Pay no attention to those men and women in jail and held in their homes by communist thugs. Move along. The Masters do not like people drawing attention to their actions.
Hey guys, seriously, please stop being so mean and detaining critics or we'll revoke your seat on the HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL OF THE UN.
Ruling 1.6 billion people is not an easy task!!!!
Those were involved are divided. Those that were born in 1989 or after 1979 still have NO clue that happened in 1989 - they were told by somebody, that somebody was told by somebody and that somebody was again told by somebody....depends on the messenger(s) and how it was being spinned especially by the Western media...let our fantasy ride. Stopping the riot or the coup in 1989 by Western nations SAVE China from becoming the 51st State of the United States. Whether it is good or bad NOT becoming the 51st State of America...we need to ask the people in China today.
The UN is an impotent joke. Why is the act being allowed to continue?
Give Chinese government sometime. They busy dealing/ combating with the 'TIGERS' within.


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