Next week, on June 4th, marks the 25th anniversary of one of the most discussed events of recent Chinese history- the massacre at Tiananmen Square in Beijing of pro-democracy protesters. The following is a roundup of recent coverage of the anniversary. If we’ve missed something – please share the link in the comments.

Look for our #MusicMonday playlist next Monday on the blog, which will also be dedicated to this important anniversary.

Human Rights Organizations’ Coverage:

China’s Tiananmen Anniversary Blackout, Amnesty International

A comprehensive list of activists who have been detained or arrested in this year’s crackdown in advance of the anniversary.

See also Quartz Here’s who China has detained so far ahead of the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square and Global Post, China detains 5 activists before 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Square crackdown

June Fourth at 25: Resisting Forced Amnesia, Building a Just Future, Human Rights in China

In addition to the organization’s focus on China this initiative works on targeted press outreach, translation, production of multimedia resources, and participation in commemorative events.

Censors Work Overtime for Tiananmen Anniversary, Index on Censorship

“Keep quiet and carry on” is the slogan that can best describe China’s take on the approaching 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

This is the yearly Tiananmen anniversary crackdown, and people within China know what to expect; slower internet, blocked search terms, more military personnel in public and the arrest of high profile individuals. But this year’s crackdown appears particularly thorough, either a reaction to dissent being higher than usual or a perception that it is in light of the milestone anniversary.

China: Quashing Criticism at Home and Abroad, Human Rights Watch

Like the Index on Censorship, HRW also highlights the lengths that China’s government has gone to to prevent conversation about its human rights record, whether inside or outside the country.

Media Coverage:

Tiananmen Square Anniversary Prompts Campaign of Silence, New York Times

But this year, the 25th anniversary of the bloodshed that convulsed the nation and nearly sundered the Communist Party, censors and security forces have waged an aggressive “stability maintenance” campaign that has sent a chill through the ranks of Chinese legal advocates, liberal intellectuals and foreign journalists.

25 Years On, Mothers of Tiananmen Square Dead Seek AnswersNPR

China cracks down on dissent ahead of Tiananmen anniversary, The Guardian

China has jailed scores of lawyers, activists and intellectuals weeks before the 25th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, underscoring Beijing’s resolve to wipe the event from the country’s collective memory.

Authorities in southern China’s Guangdong province have detained five activists – Xie Wenfei, Luo Xiangyang, Wu Bin, Yang Chonghe, and Zhang Wanhe – for expressing solidarity with a sixth, Li Weiguo, as he stood trial for seeking legal permission to hold a Tiananmen-related demonstration.

Sensitive Times, The Economist

These are chilling times for outspoken liberals in China. On May 8th national television broadcast footage that purported to show a 70-year-old journalist, Gao Yu, admitting to a police interrogator that she had harmed the national interest by leaking the contents of a secret document online. On the same day a newspaper in Beijing, Global Times, lashed out at a prominent civil-rights lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, for crossing a “red line” by attending a small private gathering earlier this month in commemoration of the Tiananmen Square unrest in 1989. Mr Pu is also now in detention, for “provoking trouble.”

In public at least, the authorities have not drawn any link between the two cases. But the unusual publicity surrounding them suggests they are trying to deliver a warning to liberal intellectuals that the Communist Party will not tolerate open dissent during what officials describe as a “sensitive” period (such on this Beijing government website, in Chinese); namely the build-up to the 25th anniversary on June 4th of the crushing of the Tiananmen protests.


Image courtesy of Flickr user John Lester “Tiananmen Square memorial in Second Life, June 4, 2006” 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *