Hong Kong protection chief criticises WSJ view piece on ‘Subversive’ artwork

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

Tang reported in a letter to the newspaper that the WSJ opinion piece, titled “Subversive Artwork is a criminal offense in Hong Kong”, contained “groundless remarks” that mislead audience, in accordance to a duplicate posted online by the federal government on Wednesday.

The WSJ did not right away reply to requests for remark.

The Journal mentioned in its impression piece that the seizure by Hong Kong Police’s National Safety Office of the “Pillar of Disgrace” statue was quietly executed and performed with no because of process.

Tang claimed this was untrue and that officers took action with a courtroom warrant on Friday and issued a press release on the procedure.

“That the belief piece presented the exhibit of the legal investigation as an ‘artwork’ and the circumstance as one particular regarding mere ‘dissent’ is absolutely misleading,” Tang mentioned.

Hong Kong legislation enforcement agencies are “responsibility-sure” to carry justice to men and women and entities performing in violation of Hong Kong rules, together with the Nationwide Safety Legislation, Tang stated.

Beijing imposed the protection law on Hong Kong in 2020, a go that Western governments have criticised as a software to crush dissent.

Chinese and Hong Kong authorities say the legislation, which punishes subversion, collusion with foreign forces and terrorism with up to everyday living in jail, has brought balance to the town after the 2019 protests.

The Pillar of Disgrace, designed by Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot, is an 8 metre (26 ft) tall statue depicting dozens of torn and twisted bodies that commemorates protesters killed in the crackdown in and around Tiananmen Sq. in 1989.

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

In 2021, the College of Hong Kong dismantled and removed the statue “primarily based on exterior authorized assistance and danger assessment for the ideal fascination of the college”. It has given that been kept in a cargo container on college-owned land.

The seizure comes months forward of the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Hong Kong had typically held the premier yearly vigils in the world to commemorate the crackdown but vigils have been barred by law enforcement from having place considering the fact that 2020 because of to coronavirus restrictions.

Reporting by Farah Learn and Jessie Pang Modifying by Michael Perry

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Have confidence in Rules.