June 3, 2020 / 10:36 AM / 2 months ago

Hong Kong must be free to mark Tiananmen crackdown, EU says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - China must allow the people of Hong Kong and Macau to commemorate the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, the European Union said on Wednesday, despite health concerns because of COVID-19.

“This commemoration is a signal that key freedoms continue to be protected,” an EU spokeswoman told a news briefing, noting China’s restrictions on gatherings due to the health risks.

“We trust that the people of Hong Kong and Macau will nevertheless be free to mark the anniversary appropriately. A clear commitment to fully respecting guaranteed rights and freedoms is now more important than ever in light of recent developments,” the spokeswoman said, referring to China’s new security law to limit freedoms in Hong Kong.

Thursday marks 31 years since Chinese troops opened fire to end the student-led unrest in and around the square. Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland.

Reporting by Robin Emmott

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