Two more Hong Kong universities remove public monuments to 1989 Tiananmen protests in Beijing

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Two more universities in Hong Kong have removed public monuments commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen protests in Beijing on Friday.

The move comes just a day after the 26-feet-tall “Pillar of Shame” statue was removed from the University of Hong Kong.

Early on Friday morning the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) removed a statue known as the “Goddess of Democracy” from its public piazza, reported Reuters.

The 6.4 metre-tall bronze statue holding a flame was modelled after a 10-metre white plaster and foam statue erected by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The statue in Tiananmen Square stood as a symbol of the students’ resolve in pursuing liberty and democracy in China under Communist party rule.

In a statement the university said that the “unauthorised statue” had been removed.

“Following an internal assessment, and as the manager of the university campus, CUHK has removed the statue,” the statement said.

Hong Kong’s the Lingnan University too removed a wall relief sculpture marking the Tiananmen crackdown.

The wall relief includes images of a line of tanks halting before a lone protester known as “tank man” and victims shot by Chinese troops being carried away.

The statue and the wall relief in both the universities were created by the artist Chen Weiming who promised legal action against the universities if any damage was done to his works.

“It is a major regret,” he said to AFP.

“I am concerned about whether the monuments are damaged and where they are placed currently. When I have more information. I will contact my lawyers in the US to see if any legal actions can be taken.”

In addition, a red picture of the “Goddess of Democracy” in Lingnan University’s student union hall had also been painted over.

Angry students pasted a sheet of paper bearing the word “shameful” on the defaced picture, which was removed by security guards.

The university said that items that may pose “legal and safety risks” had been “cleared, or removed and stored appropriately,” reported Reuters.

The removal of the statues and sculptures come amid Beijing’s aggressive crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong in the wake of the pro-democracy protests.

The crackdown on these sculptures come just days after pro-Beijing candidates scored a landslide victory in the Hong Kong legislative elections.

Beijing has intensified its crackdown on pro-democracy dissenters in Hong Kong since it implemented the controversial national security law. Under the law 120 dissenters including opposition leaders and journalists have been arrested.

Both Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have maintained that the security laws have restored order and stability after mass protests in 2019.

They have also denied any breach of fundamental rights and freedoms.

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