Hong Kong facing ‘Tiananmen Square’ moment – as plea is made for UN intervention

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Human rights observers fear the immovable grinding stone of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement are set to collide with tragic consequences on the eve of the anniversary of Tiananmen Square on June 4. The 1989 massacre saw a Chinese government crackdown that led to the murder of 10,000 demonstrators. Doctor Darren Mann a surgeon and Humanitarian Law expert who has worked in Hong Kong for 25 years told Express.co.uk: “I am making calls for a UN Special Envoy and Red Cross, ICRC, humanitarian observers to be deployed to Hong Kong as a matter of urgency.

“The public threat to life when impassioned large scale civil rights protests meet unyielding aggressive police posturing is clear.

The surgeon, who has been a leading witness at the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights Abuses in Hong Kong, said: “Can anything other than the intervention of the United Nations and the custodians of humanitarian law, the International Committee of the Red Cross, now prevent the horror of Tiananmen 2.0 in Hong Kong.”

Doctor Mann has given testimony on the harassment and arrest of healthcare workers and the misuse of healthcare transport, facilities, and confidential information by Hong Kong law enforcement amid the protests in the city.

He added: “The United Nations has already been openly critical of Hong Kong law enforcement conduct that fails to recognise symbols of medical protection as evidenced by arbitrary arrest and detention of volunteer medical professionals, misuse of ambulances and abuses within hospitals.”

“Denial of access for swathes of citizens to the healthcare safe space as a consequence of political expression is reprehensible, and civic trust has now collapsed.”

Calls for a UN special envoy to observe human rights in the city before it is too late have also come from the last Governor of Hong Kong, Chris Patten.

Lord Patten said: “The creation of a UN special envoy for Hong Kong would contribute both to monitoring human rights and encouraging dialogue and reconciliation.

“Many UN member states would see it as a constructive proposal worthy of support.”

The US has called for a virtual meeting of the UN security council to discuss a resolution of the crisis.

Washington has also stated China’s new security law will only inflame the situation further.

But, Beijing has refused to allow this virtual meeting to proceed in the Security Council.

In response, the People’s Republic of China’s UN Representative said: “The Chinese government’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security, and development interests is unswerving, its determination to implement the policy of ‘one country, two systems’ and its determination to oppose any external forces’ interference in Hong Kong affairs is unswerving.

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“Any attempt to use the Hong Kong issue to interfere in China’s internal affairs will inevitably fail.

“China strongly urges the US to immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, immediately stop hegemonism and power politics, manage its own affairs, and solve its own problems, rather than provoking disputes and creating trouble everywhere.”

As the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre draws near, Hong Kong law enforcement is being closely scrutinised by Beijing to see if they can swiftly quell the swelling pro-democracy movement on their own.

Failure by the Hong Kong police would mean direct involvement from Beijing and the deployment of the People’s Armed Police.

There is a well-worn pattern of how Beijing deals with dissent, a pattern that can be seen in Xinjiang, Tibet, and most particularly the brutal response in Tiananmen square.

When the1989 massacre happened, Beijing labelled those that supported the student movement and those even braver individuals that stood in front of the tanks as terrorists and “counter-revolutionaries”, we hear similar belligerent rhetoric today.

The scenes in the square of young people linking arms calling for greater accountability, constitutional due process, and democracy are the same requests that have taken hundreds of thousands onto the streets of Hong Kong.

With the planned promulgation of the new security laws for Hong Kong Beijing has fabricated the legal grounds for employing physical intervention against the pro-democracy movement.

The brutal crackdown on June 4 1989 in Tiananmen Square curtailed political expression in China, but now individual freedom in China has eroded further under Xi Jinping’s neo-authoritarianism.

His tightening grip is manifested by the new security laws and the law against insulting the Chinese national anthem that all served to criminalise freedom of expression in Hong Kong.

A recently declassified document, written little more than 24 hours after the massacre by the then British ambassador to China, Sir Alan Donald, described the brutality of the crackdown.

It said: “Students understood they were given one hour to leave the square but after five minutes armoured personnel carriers attacked.

“Students linked arms but were mown down including soldiers.

“The armoured personnel carriers then ran over bodies time and time again to make a ‘pie’ and the remains collected by bulldozer.

“Remains were incinerated and then hosed down drains.

“Four wounded girl students begged for their lives but were bayoneted.”

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