Foreign consulates and representatives in Hong Kong have published social media posts commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Massacre.

The US Consulate General posted a video on Tuesday – the 30th anniversary of the crackdown – beginning with the line: “This video will be censored in China.”

It then continued with images of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, with the narrator saying that it was a year of freedom, “but not for some.”

30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square

美國國務卿就六四30周年發言: U.S. Secretary of State on the 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square:

Posted by U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau on Monday, 3 June 2019

The clip contained interviews with 1989 student protester Li Hengqing and Chinese dissident Su Xiaokang, alongside footage of the crackdown.

The massacre occurred on June 4 1989, ending months of student-led demonstrations in China. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, died as the military suppressed protesters in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.

“So Justice may be late. The justice may come late. But it will come. So that’s why I think China eventually will change,” Li said.

US Consulate General Tiananmen Massacre
US Consulate General video commemorating Tiananmen Massacre. Photo: Screenshot.

The video also included a statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “We salute the heroes of the Chinese people who bravely stood up thirty years ago in Tiananmen Square to demand their rights.”

The German Consulate General posted a photo of the democratic movement in 1989 and said: “Today marks 30 years since the Tiananmen Massacre. On this day, we are reminded of the fact that human rights and freedom should never be taken for granted.”

今日是天安門大屠殺的30周年。這個日子讓我們銘記永遠不將人權和自由視為理所當然。Today marks 30 years since the Tiananmen Massacre. On this day, we are…

Posted by German Consulate General Hong Kong on Monday, 3 June 2019

The European Union office to Hong Kong and Macao also said in a social media on Tuesday that the EU “defends and promotes human rights at home and across the world.”

In another post, it cited a statement issued by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini related to the anniversary.

“Thirty years later, the European Union continues to mourn the victims and offers its condolences to their families,” Mogherini said.

Federica Mogherini
Federica Mogherini. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Saeima.

The statement said the EU expects the legal safeguards and due process rights of those detained in connection with the 1989 events, or with current activities to commemorate it, to be respected.

It also mentioned a list of human rights defenders and lawyers, including Huang Qi, Gao Zhisheng, Ge Jueping, pastor Wang Yi, Xu Lin, and Chen Jiahong, and said they should be immediately released.

“Today, we continue to observe a crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly, and freedom of the press in China. Human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. International laws and standard foresee the respect of fundamental freedoms,” Mogherini added.

The Australian Consulate General published a post quoting its senator and foreign minister Marise Payne.

“Thirty years ago in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, peaceful student protests were ended using military force. Australia…

Posted by Australia in Hong Kong & Macau on Monday, 3 June 2019

“Thirty years ago in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, peaceful student protests were ended using military force. Australia joins the international community in remembering the tragic loss of life on 4 June 1989,” Payne said.

“Australia remains concerned about continuing constraints on freedom of association, expression and political participation in China.”

The Canadian Consulate General also issued a post in saying: “Today, we pause to remember the tragic events that took place 30 years ago on June 4th, 1989.”

“Canada remains committed to human rights, democracy and the rule of law,” it added.

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Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.