Authorities removed the University of Hong Kong’s ‘Pillar of Shame’ statue late on Wednesday, dismantling one of the few such sites left in China that commemorate an iconic protest, as Beijing extends its influence in the region.
The eight-meter-tall monument at the city-state’s oldest university had depicted a pile of twisted bodies and was the site of multiple vigils in memory of the victims of the infamous crackdown over 30 years ago in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.
The statue was removed by the university earlier in the year. “based on the latest risk assessment and legal advice,”Furthermore, officials can be “very concerned about the potential safety issues resulting from the fragile statue.”
“The PillarOfShame is removed, while memory lives. Remember what occurred on June 4, 1989. TiananmenMassacre,”Nathan Law is a Hong Kong activist for democracy and fled the area last year.
The statue’s removal comes a year after officials banned activists from holding a vigil at the site, citing concerns about Covid. Protesters assembled last year against the ban, and nine pro-democracy supporters were later sentenced to anywhere from six to 10 months prison time for their participation in the memorial ceremony.
Maya Wang is a Senior Researcher at Human Rights Watch and described the situation in her own words as “evidence of human rights violations.” “Beijing’s ever-growing intolerance of dissent in Hong Kong,”You can claim that “the Chinese government is rewriting history as part of its broader efforts to dismantle a free society.”
The sculpture was donated by the Hong Kong alliance as a gift.
The group was disbanded in September 2021 after the implementation of Hong Kong’s national security law saw many pro-democracy figures charged or jailed for their role in protests that rocked the region in 2019.
China denies that China seeks to influence Hong Kong. It argues that the actions it takes in the area are designed to safeguard the city-state against foreign interference. Beijing has also refrained from criticism of its national safety law. It stated that only a handful of people were targeted by the legislation, which was meant to protect the stability within the region.
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