Hong Kong universities pull down more memorials to Tiananmen Square Massacre

·1-min read
The Pillar of Shame Statue (AP)
The Pillar of Shame Statue (AP)

Two more universities in Hong Kong have removed memorials to the Tiananmen Square massacre.

On Wednesday night, workers at the University of Hong Kong removed the 26ft tall Pillar of Shame, which symbolises the lives lost during the bloody military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in the Chinese capital on June 4, 1989.

Now two more memorials to the massacre have been removed, despite outcry.

On Friday morning, the Chinese University of Hong Kong took down the "Goddess of Democracy," a statue based on a figure created by art students memorialising the crackdown in which hundreds, if not thousands, were killed.

In a statement, the university confirmed the removal of the statue, saying it never authorised it and that nobody had claimed responsibility for its maintenance and management.

Separately, Lingnan University also removed a bas relief memorial wall display dedicated to the memory of the June 4 victims.

The university's decision was predicated on the "overall protection of the university community after a recent assessment," government-run Hong Kong Radio Television reported.

The ruling Communist Party in China has long attempted to erase the bloody events from the public consciousness.

The government has never provided a figure on casualties and the pro-democracy movement remains a taboo topic in mainland China.

Hong Kong and Macao, which are semi-autonomous territories, were the only places on Chinese soil where commemorations of Tiananmen were allowed.

This was until authorities banned annual candlelight vigils for two consecutive years.

Since Beijing introduced a sweeping ‘national security’ law last year, there has been an intensified crackdown on freedoms previously enjoyed in Hong Kong as authorities seek to bring the region in lockstep with the ruling Communist party.

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