Standing up for... human rights

Tiananmen.jpgTo commemorate the 25th anniversary of the atrocities committed in Tiananmen Square against peaceful protestors for democracy, Greens candidate for the seat of Newtown, Jenny Leong, and I attended a forum in NSW Parliament titled “Why Remember The Past? The Case of June 4th”. Presented by the Sydney Democracy Network in partnership with the Australian Institute of International Affairs (NSW branch) and the China Democracy Forum, the forum was a poignant reminder that so many questions remain unanswered…

Why do the Chinese ruling authorities still refuse to acknowledge publicly the events? Why do so many who survived the massacres still struggle? And how will this shape the political future of China?

It was then a stark reminder of the gulf in democracy between our two countries when my comments on the Tiananmen anniversary were front page news on the Australian edition of the Chinese-language newspaper The Vision China Times. 

The translation reads:

The Greens NSW MLA Jamie Parker said, "After 25 years, it's time for the Chinese government to respect and commemorate the innocent deceased in the June Fourth Incident. The whole world realises the development potential of China now. However, if China wants to be respected in the global society, they should face the past and recognise human rights is an important value."

When talked about the case of Guo Jian, Jamie Parker said, "He remembered June Fourth Incident by art and was arrested. It means that China hasn't progressed on the human rights issue. "

VisionChinaTimes.jpgGuo Jian is an Australian artist who was detained in China, taken from his home in Beijing amid heightened security aimed at preventing the commemoration of the anniversary.

His recent artwork is pictured on the front page of the newspaper (see right). It’s a diorama made from 160 kilograms of pork mince and is a powerful comment on the massacre of Chinese civilians by their army.





















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