1 June 2012


Twenty-three years after Tiananmen, China is still paying

(CPJ/IFEX) - May 31, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Madeline Earp/CPJ Senior Asia Research Associate

The annual crackdown on commemorations of the June 4 anniversary of the brutal suppression of student-led demonstrations based in Tiananmen Square in 1989 Beijing is under way, according to Agence France-Presse. What's concerning is the number of writers and activists for whom "crackdown" is the new normal.

Two high-profile cases have brought the stresses of constant home surveillance and intimidation into the international media. Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng's flight from his 19-month house arrest has made him a household name, and facilitated his temporary relocation to New York City this week. Bizarrely, the LA Times reported Monday that despite his escape, his village remains under security lockdown, patrolled by plain-clothed security officials and paramilitaries. Artist and documentarian Ai Weiwei, who was held incommunicado for 80 days last year, also faces continual interaction with secret police, according to the U.K. Daily Telegraph. The Canadian Globe and Mail documents the security cameras surrounding the artist's Beijing compound-and reports that Ai is followed whenever he leaves.

Continue reading


Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

More from China
  • Freedom on the Net 2018: China

    The level of internet freedom declined due to the new cybersecurity law which strengthened repressive restrictions on online activities.

  • Forbidden Feeds: Government Controls on Social Media in China.

    Based on extensive interviews with writers, poets, artists, activists, and others personally affected by the government’s grip on online expression, as well as interviews with anonymous employees at Chinese social media companies, the report lays bare the destructive impact of the Chinese government’s vision of “cyber sovereignty” on netizens who dare to dissent.

  • Ten-Year Edition: A Decade of Decline

    The general trend over the past 10 years has been bleak, with an overall negative trajectory for press freedom. The major turning point was the election of Xi Jinping as General Secretary of the Communist Party of China in 2012 and President of China in 2013.

At this point, would publish: "Home page"
At this point, would publish: "RSF protests censorship affecting foreign and local media"
At this point, would publish: "Tiananmen Square massacre still a taboo subject in press and online on 19th anniversary; IOC to meet in Athens on anniversary"
At this point, would publish: "Journalists and others warned against writing about Tiananmen Square anniversary, related website blocked"
At this point, would publish: "End June 1989 massacre denial, free dissidents, says Human Rights Watch"
At this point, would publish: "RSF calls for immediate release of journalists, netizens jailed for referring to 1989 Tiananmen massacre"
At this point, would publish: "Two decades after Tiananmen massacre, repression still trumps political reform, Human Rights Watch says"
At this point, would publish: "RSF marks anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre"
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.