Opinion

Chinese pro-democracy activists charged with 'picking quarrels' for commemorating Tiananmen Square massacre

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,China,Tiananmen Square,Blake Seitz

China's Communist Party is still trying to whitewash history, 25 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Last week, Human Rights in China reported that pro-democracy activists Chen Wei and Yu Shiwen were formally arrested following their detention two months ago and charged with "picking quarrels and provoking trouble" for holding small gatherings to commemorate the June 4, 1989, massacre.

The married couple, who took part in the 1989 protest as students, organized the first memorial of the massacre on the Chinese mainland in 2013. A handful of Chinese attended. Chen and Yu organized another memorial in February of this year. Over 30 attended, nine of whom, including the organizers, were detained by Chinese authorities afterward.

The CCP downplays the scale of the Tiananmen massacre to an international audience while censoring all information about it domestically. Their domestic intimidation campaign has succeeded in creating a culture of silence, even among those who know what took place on June 4.

The Washington Examiner reported last month on Chen and Yu's detention. It also reported the reaction of noted Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng to the massacre's 25th anniversary. Chen urged American leaders to "support the ordinary Chinese" by standing up to the CCP.

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