Bärbel Kofler, 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 30th anniversary of the violent crushing of the democratic movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on 4 June 1989:
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the violent suppression of the democratic movement in China. We must and indeed will not forget what happened in Beijing on that day. The German Government remembers all those who fell victim to the crackdown in Tiananmen Square 30 years ago. At the same time, I appeal to the Chinese leadership to release those citizens still in prison in connection with 4 June 1989. The families of the victims and all those commemorating the dead who want to see a debate on the events that day should be granted this wish.
Protecting human rights is a basic obligation of all member states of the United Nations. On this notable anniversary, I therefore urge the Chinese Government to respect universal human rights and the fundamental freedoms of all citizens. All those who in the spirit of the movement of 1989 are peacefully championing human rights and democracy today and have been imprisoned for their actions must be released.