RPT-Hong Kong protestors demand China be held to account for 1989 Tiananmen crackdown




(Repeats to change story identifier. No change to text)

By James Pomfret

HONG KONG, May 26 (Reuters) - Thousands of protesters marched through central Hong Kong on Sunday as part of annual demonstrations demanding that China be held accountable for its democracy crackdown in and around Tiananmen Square three decades ago.

Human rights groups and witnesses say that hundreds, perhaps thousands, died in the bloodshed as Chinese tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square and soldiers fired on student-led democracy protesters, beginning on the night of June 3, 1989.

The Tiananmen crackdown is a taboo subject in China and authorities have refused to accept full accountability or release the death toll.

This year, for the 30th anniversary, censors at Chinese internet companies say that tools to detect and block content related to the 1989 crackdown have reached unprecedented levels of accuracy, aided by machine learning and voice and image recognition.

Hong Kong and Macau are the only places on Chinese soil where the event is commemorated each year, while the democratic island of Taiwan also holds public gatherings for the victims.

The Hong Kong demonstrators marched to China's main representative "liaison" office in the city, where some held up banners while chanting slogans including "the people will not forget."

Many of the protesters also held up yellow umbrellas, a symbol of Hong Kong's 2014 pro-democracy "umbrella revolution," while calling for the scrapping of a proposed extradition law that would allow people to be sent to China to face trial.

Lawyers, business people and diplomats have expressed widespread concern that the law could extend China's control into Hong Kong and undermine the city's vaunted rule of law.

The umbrellas carried the words "Support freedom. Oppose evil law."

"The Hong Kong people have not forgotten the event of 30 years ago," said lawmaker Wu Chi-wai, who heads the city's main opposition Democratic Party.

"The (Chinese) Communist Party tries to erase those memories. But the Hong Kong people have kept it up and are looking for the day when the dictatorship on the mainland will end."

Some in the crowds were also from mainland China. Among them was Chen Shen, who said he had watched a documentary on the crackdown and later shared it widely with friends using a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent Chinese censors.

"I felt angry and sad," he said during the march. "I think Chinese people have the right to know the truth."

Police estimated that 2,100 people took part in Sunday's march. An annual candlelight vigil in Victoria Park on June 4 is expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

(Reporting by James Pomfret Editing by David Goodman)

COMMENTS

More Related News

The Latest: Protesters move from street to government office
The Latest: Protesters move from street to government office

Joshua Wong, a leading figure in Hong Kong's 2014 Umbrella Movement demonstrations, has vowed to join the latest protests after he was released from prison. Wong's release Monday came as protesters were gathered near Hong Kong's government headquarters after a protest on Sunday that organizers

Hong Kong police begin to clear streets of protesters
Hong Kong police begin to clear streets of protesters
  • World
  • 2019-06-16 23:41:30Z

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that drew a late-in-the-day apology from the city's top leader for her handling of legislation that has stoked fears of expanding control from Beijing in this former British colony. Nearly 2 million of the city's 7 million people

The Latest: Hong Kong police say want to clear protesters
The Latest: Hong Kong police say want to clear protesters

Hong Kong police say they want to clear the streets of protesters Monday morning. Many protesters spent Sunday night near government headquarters after a huge protest against a proposed law that they fear will increase Beijing's influence over the semi-autonomous territory. Pro-democracy activists helping to drive mass protests in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition law have rejected an apology issued by the city's leader.

Hong Kong leader apologizes as protesters press demands for her to quit
Hong Kong leader apologizes as protesters press demands for her to quit
  • US
  • 2019-06-16 01:17:51Z

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized on Sunday as hundreds of thousands of black-clad protesters maintained calls for her to resign over her handling of a bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. Lam "apologized to the people of Hong Kong for this and pledged

Hong Kong leader halts extradition bill but opponents vow fresh rally
Hong Kong leader halts extradition bill but opponents vow fresh rally

Hong Kong's embattled leader on Saturday suspended a hugely divisive bill that would allow extraditions to China, in a major climbdown following unprecedented unrest, but protesters vowed to press ahead with a mass Sunday rally. The international finance hub was rocked by the worst political violence since its 1997 handover to China on Wednesday as tens of thousands of protesters were dispersed by riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Critics fear the law will tangle people up in China's notoriously opaque and politicised courts as well as hammer the city's reputation as a safe business hub.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.