Bangladeshis hold demonstrations in Dhaka to mark Tiananmen massacre anniversary

People in Bangladesh gathered outside a mosque in Dhaka to commemorate the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre. On Friday, the demonstrators held candlelight vigils and shouted slogans outside Dhaka’s Baitul Mukarram Mosque. One of the banners used during the candlelight visit read “Genocide Day”.

On June 4, 1989, hundreds of thousands of Chinese soldiers suppressed student-led pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing in a bloody crackdown, now remembered as the Tiananmen Square massacre. Since then, China has not allowed any discussion on the mainland of its bloody crackdown. With increased powers under China’s draconian national security law, Hong Kong, a former British colony, has also extended the ban on any discussion or commemoration of the massacre.

Unidentified Chinese man, popularly known as Tank Man, stood in front of a column of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square.(AP)
One of the banners used during the candlelight visit read “Genocide Day”.
One of the banners used during the candlelight visit read “Genocide Day”.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken on Thursday honoured the “sacrifices of those killed 32 years ago, and the brave activists who carry on their efforts today in the face of ongoing government repression.” “Named after the nearby Gate of Heavenly Peace, the square is instead synonymous with the brutal actions by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1989 to silence tens of thousands of individuals advocating to have a say in their government and exercise their human rights and fundamental freedoms,” Blinken said in a statement.

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People in Bangladesh holding demonstrations against China's human rights violations.
People in Bangladesh holding demonstrations against China’s human rights violations.

The Bangladeshi demonstrators were also seen wearing blue masks to highlight gross human rights violations, including suppression of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

Several leaked documents have revealed China’s brutal and systematic crackdown on Uyghurs in which they have called it a “struggle against terrorism, infiltration and separatism”. After Uyghur militants stabbed more than 150 people at a train station in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a series of speeches delivered to officials, urged the party to follow America’s policy of “war on terror”.

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In 2019, classified documents from within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which revealed China’s crackdown on Uyghur Muslims and use of artificial intelligence to monitor these ethnic minority communities in China and abroad.

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