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Statement by Human Rights Commissioner Strässer on the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests

Beijing’s Tiananmen Square

Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, © picture alliance / dpa

03.06.2014 - Press release

The Federal Government’s Human Rights Commissioner Christoph Strässer remembers the violent suppression of the democratic movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square 25 years ago and calls on the Chinese leadership to release all those still detained in connection with the events of 4 June 1989.

Christoph Strässer, the Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (3 June) to mark the 25th anniversary of the violent crushing of the democratic movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989.

Today, on the 25th anniversary of the tragic events in Tienanmen Square, we remember those who lost their lives striving for democracy. I appeal to the Chinese leadership to release all those still detained in connection with the events of 4 June 1989.

It is deplorable that recently there has been a renewed wave of arrests with relatives, intellectuals and others commemorating the dead and trying to kick off a debate on the events of 25 years ago being taken into custody. I call for the release of these journalists, civil rights activist and relatives.

One of my tasks is the regular and intensive conduct of the Human Rights Dialogue with China – an important element of our comprehensive relations with the country. I have thus invited my Chinese interlocutors to Berlin to continue our joint dialogue on all relevant issues.

Background information

4 June marks 25 years to the day since the protests in Beijing’s Tienanmen Square.

In the run-up to the anniversary, numerous Chinese civil rights activists, journalists, lawyers and other human rights defenders have been arrested since April, among them journalist Gao Yu, lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and philosopher Xu Youyu.

The German-Chinese Human Rights Dialogue has taken place since 2003 and is chaired on the German side by the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office. This Dialogue provides a forum for in-depth discussion of the whole spectrum of current human rights issues. Its 11th round took place in China (Yinchuan, Ningxia Province) on 13 and 14 May 2013, the next one is scheduled to take place in Germany.


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