Hong Kong universities remove more monuments marking Tiananmen

37

Intl desk, Dec 24: Two more Hong Kong universities have taken down monuments commemorating the Tiananmen massacre.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) tore down a Goddess of Democracy statue, while Lingnan University removed a relief sculpture, BBC reported.

It comes a day after Hong Kong University removed a famous statue marking the same event.

The monuments’ removal comes as Beijing has increasingly been cracking down on political dissent in Hong Kong.

CUHK did not directly confirm the statue’s removal, but added that an “unauthorised statue” had been removed.

The statue was modelled after the original statue erected by Chinese students in 1989 and paraded in Tiananmen Square just before the crackdown.

“The University never authorised the display of the statue on its campus, and no organisation has claimed responsibility for its maintenance and management,” CUHK said in a statement on Friday.

Lingnan University said that it had also recently “reviewed and assessed items on campus that may pose legal and safety risks” and “removed [these]…. in the best interest of the University”.

Hong Kong used to be one of few places in China that allowed public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square protests – a highly sensitive topic in mainland China.

In 1989, Beijing’s Tiananmen Square became the focus for demonstrations calling for greater political freedoms. Thousands of people camped for weeks in the square, but in June the military moved in and troops opened fire.

The Chinese government says 200 civilians and several dozen security personnel died. Other estimates have ranged from hundreds to as many as 10,000.