Chinese embassy officials react angrily to Tiananmen anniversary flowers

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Officials at the Chinese embassy in London reacted angrily to a flower laying ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The event (photographs available, 1), held this morning, was organised by Amnesty International UK and attended by representatives of Tibet support groups, including Free Tibet, and groups campaigning for better human rights in China.

The first bouquet of flowers was laid by the Amnesty International Director and Wang Ti-Anna, the daughter of a Chinese democracy activist who has been in prison in China for the past twelve years. Both women were shoved off the steps of the embassy and the flowers thrown back at the watching crowd. The officials were then ushered back into the embassy by the police officer on duty so that the ceremony could continue.

Eleanor Byrne Rosengren, director of Free Tibet, said:

“Regardless of the changes that have been made in China over the last 25 years, in Tibet the events of Tiananmen Square are present and alive today. China’s use of lethal force to suppress protest is not a thing of the past. Tibetans were shot and killed in 2008 and 2012 and unarmed protesters have been shot with live ammunition twice within the last year, some sustaining life-threatening injuries. [2] At least two Tibetan prisoners have been killed in jail within the last year [3] and reports of torture remain widespread. [4] While China attempts to silence any discussion of events in 1989 in China today, that kind of censorship is a daily reality in Tibet, as is the use of threats and violence.

“Just as in Beijing in 1989, the current regime seems to lack the imagination, will and decency to respond to opposition in Tibet with anything other than force. The courage and resilience of the Chinese people suffering under their current regime deserves our deepest respect. As we mark the courage of those then and now who stand up to the government of China, we must also mark the courage of the Tibetans who have been resisting the occupation and brutal oppression of their country by China for more than sixty years.”

-ends-

Contact

For more information or comment, contact Free Tibet Director, Eleanor Byrne-Rosengren
T: +44 (0)207 324 4605
E: eleanor@freetibet.org

Notes

(1) Photographs at https://www.flickr.com/photos/freetibetorg/sets/72157644598644047/
(2) For more information see Free Tibet press releases 21 October 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/machine-gun-fire-tibet-exclusive-video-police-breaking-environmental-protest 8 October 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/60-tibetans-injured-security-forces-fire-peaceful-protest 9 July 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/chinese-forces-open-fire-following-prayer-gathering-tibet
(3) For more information see Free Tibet press release 22 August 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/tibetan-man-beaten-death-police-custody and news story 10 February 2014 http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/another-prisoner-killed-police-custody
(4) For more information see Free Tibet press release 17 July 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/pr/tibetans-tortured-detention-following-shooting-dalai-lama-birthday-celebrations and news stories 24 July 2013 http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/two-young-monks-become-latest-victims-chinese-justice 28 February 2014 http://freetibet.org/news-media/na/tortured-prisoner-critical-condition