Hong Kong stability chief criticises WSJ impression piece on ‘Subversive’ artwork

HONG KONG, May 10 (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s Stability Main Chris Tang criticised an feeling piece in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on a seizure by authorities of a statue commemorating Beijing’s Tiananmen Square crackdown on democracy protesters in 1989.

Tang stated in a letter to the newspaper that the WSJ impression piece, titled “Subversive Art is a criminal offense in Hong Kong”, contained “groundless remarks” that mislead readers, according to a duplicate posted on the net by the government on Wednesday.

The WSJ did not straight away answer to requests for comment.

The Journal reported in its viewpoint piece that the seizure by Hong Kong Police’s Nationwide Stability Section of the “Pillar of Disgrace” statue was quietly executed and accomplished without because of system.

Tang mentioned this was untrue and that officers took motion with a courtroom warrant on Friday and issued a push launch on the operation.

“That the impression piece presented the exhibit of the prison investigation as an ‘artwork’ and the circumstance as just one about mere ‘dissent’ is fully misleading,” Tang mentioned.

Hong Kong regulation enforcement agencies are “duty-sure” to carry justice to people and entities performing in violation of Hong Kong rules, such as the National Protection Law, Tang mentioned.

Beijing imposed the protection legislation on Hong Kong in 2020, a shift that Western governments have criticised as a resource to crush dissent.

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities say the law, which punishes subversion, collusion with overseas forces and terrorism with up to everyday living in prison, has introduced stability to the city following the 2019 protests.

The Pillar of Disgrace, created by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot, is an eight metre (26 toes) tall statue depicting dozens of torn and twisted bodies that commemorates protesters killed in the crackdown in and around Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The two-tonne copper Pillar of Disgrace was very first exhibited at a Tiananmen Sq. commemoration in Hong Kong in 1997, the very same yr Britain handed the town back to China.

In 2021, the College of Hong Kong dismantled and taken off the statue “primarily based on exterior authorized suggestions and threat assessment for the best desire of the university”. It has given that been saved in a cargo container on university-owned land.

The seizure will come weeks forward of the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Hong Kong had historically held the greatest yearly vigils in the earth to commemorate the crackdown but vigils have been barred by police from using area given that 2020 owing to coronavirus limits.

Reporting by Farah Master and Jessie Pang Editing by Michael Perry

Our Expectations: The Thomson Reuters Have faith in Ideas.

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