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Taipei Tiananmen vigil urges Beijing to respect human rights

In World
June 04, 2024

More than 1,000 people gathered on Tuesday in Taiwan’s capital Taipei to commemorate the victims of China’s violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest in 1989, urging the Beijing regime to stop trampling on human rights.

The 35th anniversary candlelight vigil for the June 4, 1989, tragedy on Tuesday was held in central Taipei with the theme “Ideals are bulletproof.”

Participants included ordinary Taiwanese residents, rights activists supporting Tibet and China’s oppressed Uighur Muslim minority, exiled Chinese pro-democracy dissidents and Hong Kongers who have fled to Taiwan in recent years after Beijing tightened its control on the former British colony.

68-year-old Wu Renhua, who witnessed the 1989 bloodbath on Beijing’s central Tiananmen Square and now lives in Taipei, told the crowd how he and students were forcibly driven out by tanks on that horrible day.

“When I returned to the campus and saw the bodies that had been run over by tanks … I swore that I’ll never forget it,” Wu told the crowd.

From mid-April 1989, tens of thousands of student-led demonstrators had demanded democracy and government reforms on Tiananmen Square. The protest ended in a bloodbath, a subject that remains taboo in China, even decades on.

At the vigil in Taipei, participants held small electric candles and observed 64 seconds of silence at 8:09 pm (1209 GMT).

A woman and her children light candles during a vigil. More than 1,000 people gathered in Taiwan's capital Taipei on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and to call on the regime in Beijing to stop trampling on human rights. Yu-Tzu Chiu/dpa

A woman and her children light candles during a vigil. More than 1,000 people gathered in Taiwan’s capital Taipei on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and to call on the regime in Beijing to stop trampling on human rights. Yu-Tzu Chiu/dpa

A man on a bicycle takes part in a demonstration. More than 1,000 people gathered in Taiwan's capital Taipei on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and to call on the regime in Beijing to stop trampling on human rights. Yu-Tzu Chiu/dpa

A man on a bicycle takes part in a demonstration. More than 1,000 people gathered in Taiwan’s capital Taipei on Tuesday to commemorate the victims of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and to call on the regime in Beijing to stop trampling on human rights. Yu-Tzu Chiu/dpa

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