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Northern Ireland marks 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre

Anna Lo MLA lays wreath on steps of Stormont

The twentieth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre will be marked in Belfast today when Hong Kong-born MLA Anna Lo lays a wreath on the steps of Parliament Buildings, Stormont, in an event organised by Amnesty International.

The wreath of red flowers – with a dedication to all those who lost their lives - will be laid beside a crumpled bicycle, symbol of the brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, which took place in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, twenty years ago today.
After the event, Anna Lo and Patrick Corrigan of Amnesty International will hand in a letter to the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister, calling on the Executive to commit to raising the issue of human rights in dealings with the Chinese government.

The Scottish Government has already adopted such an approach and Amnesty is urging the Executive in Northern Ireland to follow suit.

Anna Lo said: "The events of June 4 1989 shocked the world’s conscience. Today is a moment to remember the victims and to stand up for justice.

“Twenty years on from the crackdown, there are still many human rights problems in China: freedom of speech, the right to a fair trial and protection from torture are denied many in modern China.

"One of the best ways to bring about positive change in China is through diplomatic pressure from abroad, and by encouraging politicians to raise concerns with the Chinese government. That is what we are asking the Executive to do."

Patrick Corrigan, Programme Director for Amnesty International Northern Ireland, said: "Twenty years ago the world watched with horror as peaceful democracy protests were crushed by the Chinese Army’s tanks and guns.

"We have a duty to remember the victims and to continue their efforts by standing up against repression, torture and unfair trials."

“We hope that the Northern Ireland Executive will join their Scottish counterparts, in committing to raise human rights when they deal with Chinese ministers and officials.”

Note: the wreath-laying will take place at 11am on the steps of Parliament Buildings, Stormont

For more information contact:
Patrick Corrigan: 028 90643 000 or 07740 623155 or Anna Lo MLA: 07801 299342 / 028 90 521 560

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