Two more activists have been detained in Chengdu for promoting alcohol bottles that commemorate the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen massacre, according to NGO Amnesty International.

Luo Fuyu and Zhang Jinyong were detained on suspicion of “inciting subversion of state power.” They had posted online advertisements for bottles of a strong alcohol popular in China called baijiu. The bottles carried labels commemorating the 27th anniversary of the notorious 1989 crackdown.

tiananmen baijiu
Baijiu bottles commemorating the Tiananmen massacre. Photo: Web.

The labels were printed with the name “Ba Jiu Liu Si”, meaning eight nine six four, the date of the massacre. The name plays on the fact that Chinese for liquor, “jiu”, and the word for nine sound similar. The label said “Never forget, never give up”, and featured a picture reminiscent of the iconic “tank man” photograph. It said that the liquor had matured for 27 years, marking the anniversary.

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A Tiananmen commemoration in Hong Kong, 2016. Photo: Todd Darling.

Two other activists were detained for similar reasons in May, before this year’s anniversary. Fu Hailu was arrested for allegedly producing the liquor and a poet named Ma Qing was arrested for posting pictures of the bottles on her WeChat account, according to Ming Pao. There are now 11 activists in total who have been detained for commemorating the 27th anniversary of the massacre, Amnesty said.

In January, three activists in Guangzhou were convicted for inciting subversion of state power, partly due to their involvement in campaigns which included commemorating the Tiananmen massacre. In May, several activists were detained in Beijing for holding a private commemoration event.

Catherine is a Canadian journalist and photographer who lived in Beijing for almost two years, working in TV and online media. Aside from Hong Kong and mainland affairs, she is also interested in urban spaces, art and feminism. She holds a BA in Literature and Art History from the University of British Columbia.