Commemorating 25 years since the crackdown on the protests in Tiananmen Square, Reinhard Bütikofer, Co-Chair of the European Green Party said:
“The tragic and sad events of Tiananmen Square will always be remembered as part of the global struggle for freedom and democracy even though the Chinese government has tried to erase it from history. In 1989 the Chinese government ordered the People’s Liberation Army to violently crack down on a peaceful blockade by students protesting against corruption, inequality and inflation. Student protesters were condemned as counter-revolutionary rioters and since then all forms of remembrance or discussion of these protest – commonly addressed as the ’89 Democracy Movement – have been surpressed in China.
This suppression of political opposition calling for reforms was wrong in 1989 and its denial remains wrong and a missed opportunity in 2014. China and Chinese society and economy are transforming rapidly. Allowing for more openness and the cultivation of a collective memory instead of increasing harassment and intimidation through the current programme of “pre-emptive” police action, which the NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders called “perhaps the most extensive and intensive yet” is only in the best interest of the Chinese nation.
It is time that Chinese leaders stop the suppression of remembrance, the information blockade, censorship and the prohibition of public discussion – and put an end to their impunity over the 1989 atrocities.”