Swedish Foreign Minister commented on Tiananmen Square protest

June 4, 2019 is the day the world marked the 30th anniversary of the world’s most brutal crackdown on Tiananmen protest taking place 30 years ago in Tiananmen Square, mainland China.

People, organizations and news agencies from across the world have spoken out against this unnecessarily violent repression and commemorated the losses happening during the protest. Among those was Margot Wallström, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, who expressed her respect for the victims and called for human rights to be promoted in China via her Twitter’s account on the afternoon of June 3.

“30 years since violent repression of peaceful protests on Tiananmen in Beijing. Today we remember the victims and reiterate our demand for accountability and respect for human rights in China,” the Minister Wallström tweeted.

Aside from Swedish Minister, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and and Vice-President of the European Commission was also among those distinguished politicians who gave a statement on the 30th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square event.

“The exact numbers of those who died and were detained on 4 June and in the subsequent crackdown have never been confirmed, and may never be known. Acknowledgement of these events, and of those killed, detained or missing in connection with the Tiananmen Square protests, is important for future generations and for the collective memory. We expect 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.

Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and and Vice-President of the European Commission 
(Photo: Federica Mogherini’s Facebook page)

“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. Engagement on human rights with China is, and will remain, a fundamental pillar of the EU-China Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” according to Mogherini’s statement released on official website of the European Union.

1989 Tiananmen Square protest or known in mainland China as the June Fourth Incident was a demonstration led by students who gathered together just to peacefully show their respect to the death of Hu Yaobang, General Secretary of Communist Party of China who died on April 15, 1989.

When Yaobang was alive, he was praised by Chinese young generation for his series of attempts to reform economic and political situation in China as well as to make the voice of people to be heard more than before.  Yaobang’s attempts caused displeasure among his political opponents, so when Yaobang died he has not been remembered for his legacy as much as he should.

Video capure presenting a lone protester standing against the military tank on June 5, 1989 at the entrance to Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

That’s why students felt the urge to show thier respect for the death of Yaobang by marching on Tiananmen Square. At first, the demonstration was set off in a small-scale. Later, it was extended after about 100,000 students participating in the protest, leading to Chinese Democracy Movement in which the protesters called for the government to enable people to vote in order to develop their country.

Chinese authorities led by Deng Xiaoping saw this protest as a threat to national security, so they chose to crackdown the protest by authorizing Chinese troops to fire on civilians. The crackdown took place about 1 a.m. of June 4, 1989 and was run throughout the day where the exact numbers of death toll has never been released up till now.

About Nilobon Bantoey

Journalist • ScandAsia Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok Thailand

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