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Tiananmen Mothers Campaign - news from Hong Kong

July 21, 2001


Since the launch of this global effort to give solidarity to the Tiananmen Mothers’ struggle for accountability in May 2000, this campaign has become a key focus of activities to remember the events of 1989 in Hong Kong.

In the past year, the campaign has concentrated on human rights education, addressing the inadequacy of human rights education in Hong Kong’s high schools and universities. The young people of today’s generation mostly have little awareness of what happened in 1989.

To serve this purpose, Human Rights in China has joined with Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Office, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese and the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China to produce the “Ending Impunity Educational Kit.” The kit is composed of text and a video.

The material shows how victims of abuses in different countries have documented human rights violations and worked to bring the perpetrators to justice. As well as China, the kit gives information on campaigns against impunity in Thailand, South Korea, Chile and Argentina.

Following up from last year’s talks on the Tiananmen Mothers Campaign in high schools, a pilot version of the kit was presented in some seven high schools and several churches.

In addition to education work, the campaign team is using cultural strategies to introduce its human rights messages. On June 3, the Tiananmen Mothers Campaign participated in two cultural events—a street performance held in Chater Gardens and organized by the Asian People’s Theatre Festival Society and a prelude to “Dissidenza,” a concert of music, poetry and performance at the Hong Kong Space Museum. Both performances included readings from the Tiananmen Mothers testimonies, mime and live music.

At the annual candle-light vigil in Victoria Park, a taped message from Ding Zilin, one of the leading voices of the Tiananmen Mothers, was played to the assembled crowd of around 48,000. A representative of the campaign gave a five-minute presentation explaining why international solidarity is so important to the Mothers in their struggle for accountability. At this and the June 3 events, 500 campaign T-shirts were sold, and thousands of campaign postcards were distributed to participants.

On May 8, on the occasion of the visit of President Jiang Zemin to Hong Kong, the Tiananmen Mothers Campaign organized a demonstration to support the continuing struggle for accountability for the June Fourth massacre. Participants wore campaign T-shirts and black head scarves, and carried lanterns and placards on which were written the demands of the Mothers, and others with photos of massacre victims and the words, “Still No Accountability.”

Virginia Lai

Summer 2001


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