US asks China to allow Tiananmen anniversary commemoration

Washington, June 4 (IANS) The US government is asking China to allow commemoration of Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, according to a Department of State statement.

Washington asked Beijing to do an official accounting of the victims, release those still serving Tiananmen-related sentences and put an end to the harrassment and arrest of those who wanted to commemorate the anniversary peacefully, Efe news agency reported the State Department as saying in its statement on Wednesday.

Thursday marks the 26th anniversary of the incidents that occurred on June 4, 1989, when the Chinese government violently crushed student-led pro-democracy protests at the city’s iconic plaza.

The number of people killed in the protests is still unknown but estimates range from hundreds to thousands of people.

The note acknowledged that China has achieved great social and economic progress since 1989 but human rights abuses continue to be a source of concern.

“The United States urges the Chinese government to uphold its international commitments to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms,” it said, while calling for “an end to the harassment and detention of those who wish to peacefully commemorate the anniversary”.

The Tiananmen Square protests continue being a taboo subject for Chinese leaders who suppress any calls for justice regarding the incident or any attempt to commemorate it.

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