Hong Kong police confiscate Tiananmen statue

Hong Kong police on Saturday confiscated a statue mourning victims of China`s 1989 crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square and arrested 13.

Last Updated: May 29, 2010, 20:13 PM IST

Hong Kong: Hong Kong police on Saturday
confiscated a statue mourning victims of China`s 1989
crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square and arrested 13
activists, a participant said, in what critics called an
escalation in political censorship in the semiautonomous
Chinese territory.

China`s military suppression of pro-democracy student
protesters in Beijing, which killed at least hundreds, is
still a taboo topic on the mainland. But in Hong Kong, a
former British colony that enjoys some Western-style civil
liberties, the incident is openly mourned, with tens of
thousands usually attending an annual candlelight vigil on the
evening of June 4, the anniversary of the crackdown.

However, Hong Kong police officers confiscated a
Tiananmen-themed statue and a carving shortly after
pro-democracy activists set them up outside a popular mall as
part of their annual commemorative activities, TV news footage
showed.

The "Goddess of Democracy" statue - a new replica of a
similar statue that was erected in Tiananmen Square during the
1989 protests - depicts a woman holding a torch and a book
labeled with the words, "Liberty," "Democracy" and "Justice."

The carving is a large tablet depicting the military action.
Pro-democracy activist Richard Tsoi said by telephone
that police arrested him and 12 other activists, including an
opposition legislator.

Hong Kong police said in a statement the two pieces
had to be removed because the activists had not obtained a
license to display them. Officers detained the 13 activists
because they interfered with police work, the statement said.
They were not immediately charged and were released on bail
later today.

Fellow activists condemned the police action, accusing
the Hong Kong government of trying to curb public mourning of
the 1989 killings.

PTI