Amnesty UK Director assaulted by Chinese officials at London embassy during Tiananmen 25th anniversary demo
“When governments like the UK fail to speak out publicly, it fuels a sense that China can get away with murder.” - Kate Allen
Chinese officials aggressively pushed Amnesty UK’s Director Kate Allen and Wang Ti-Anna, the daughter of an imprisoned Chinese dissident named for the 1989 Tiananmen protest movement, off the steps of the Chinese embassy in London this morning as they attempted to lay a bouquet of red roses on the steps to mark the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown.
Amnesty said that the UK government’s failure to speak out about the Tiananmen crackdown today has fuelled a sense of impunity for Chinese officials both in China and around the world. Commemorating the crackdown in China is illegal and people in China have been arrested in recent weeks while meeting to plan ways to mark the anniversary. Because the steps of the embassy are officially Chinese territory, the flower-laying was a direct act of defiance of that ban.
At the protest this morning, two officials burst out of the embassy doors behind Kate Allen and Wang Ti-Anna as they placed the flowers on the steps and pushed the two off the steps into the gathered crowd, throwing the flowers after them. A police officer then told the two officials to return to the embassy. Kate Allen and Wang Ti-Anna were left visibly shaken by the attack and they were persuaded to file an allegation of common assault by the police who witnessed it.
Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen, said:
“If this is the sort of brazen aggression that Chinese officials feel confident they can get away with in London, it is frightening to think what is happening in China.
“This was a peaceful attempt to commemorate the Tiananmen protests and remember all those who lost their lives in the bloody crackdown. The violence it was met with shows the true colours of the Chinese authorities.
“It is deeply disappointing that the UK government has apparently decided not to make a public statement on the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen. The silence is deafening, it’s as if they have been censored.
“When governments like the UK fail to speak out publicly, it fuels a sense that China can get away with murder.”