EU spokesperson comments on commemoration of Tiananmen Square democracy protests
Yesterday in Brussels, an EU spokesperson made the following comment:
“On the commemoration, let me recall that the violent suppression of the peaceful Tiananmen Square democracy protests of 1989 at the time shocked the world.
And at the time, the European Council, which was meeting in Madrid on 26 and 27 June of that year strongly condemned the brutal repression that ensued. We are now over 30 years later and the European Union continues to mourn the victims and offer its condolences to the families of the victims.
The exact number of those who were detained, died or disappeared on 4th of June and the subsequent crackdown have never been confirmed and may never be known, but we must continue to honour their memory. We can only do justice to history if we learn from it.
Those detained in connection with 1989 events or with current activities to commemorate it must be guaranteed their legal safeguard and due process. We also expect the immediate release of the human rights defenders and lawyers detained and convicted in connection with these events or with activities protecting the rule of law and democracy.
More specifically on the commemoration, Hong Kong and Macao have indeed a long tradition of commemorating the Tiananmen Square democracy protests of 1989 and their violent suppression.
These commemorations are a strong signal that key freedoms continue to be protected. We note the restrictions that have been put in place this year in both Hong Kong and Macao on health grounds, and we trust that the people of Hong Kong and Macao will nevertheless be free to mark the anniversary appropriately.
A clear commitment to fully respecting guaranteed rights and freedoms is now more important than ever in light of recent developments.”