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25 years after Tiananmen

Beijing remains unaccountable

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre at Tiananmen Square. The Chinese Government's policy of cover-up has however hardly changed over the years, according to  Green Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, Barbara Lochbihler. “On the contrary, again this year we are seeing civil rights activists, artists, and critical journalists being imprisoned, family members of the victims persecuted and internet services blocked. The goal is clear” Lochbihler added “nothing should remind us of the brutal crackdown of the student protests.” The Chinese government still owes the relatives of the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre justice and a thorough investigation of the events. Even today, the exact number of victims is not known and simple public mourning is prohibited. The European Greens therefore demand that those responsible are held accountable and that the relatives of the victims receive adequate compensation and a formal apology. Barbara Lochbihler however also sees a responsibility to act in European policy: "Independent of economic and foreign policy influence - as long as a country like China brutally suppresses and criminalises the peaceful confrontation with its own history, European politicians must express clear criticism." However, instead one international summit is held after another with human rights, at best, being sidelined. For the European Greens it is clear: Human rights are not a Western concept. Human rights policy towards Beijing is also not an attempt to impose our values on China. The pursuit of freedom, security and justice is inherent in every person, everywhere in the world. "If a government – and it doesn’t matter which one – tries to stand against this right, it must expect to face opposition” says Lochbihler. This also applies to China, whose government wishes for nothing more than silence, amnesia and business as usual.” With all our willingness for dialogue and cooperation, we should not do them this favour – least of all on the 4th of June each year.

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