'Statues of Democracy' removed in Hong Kong
Sunday, May 30, 2010
Two sculptures have been confiscated and thirteen pro-democracy activists arrested in Hong Kong, in what critics have described as "politically motivated" censorship.
The sculptures, a new replica of the "" and a carving called the "Tiananmen Massacre Relief", had been placed in the piazza of Hong Kong's shopping mall in remembrance of the 21st anniversary of the .
Although the Causeway Bay piazza is designated as a public space, its day-to-day operations are run by the shopping mall's management. They made a complaint that the, or the "Alliance" for short, had failed to ask permission for their activities.
When police and officials from theattempted to remove the sculptures on the grounds for obstructing public access, they were prevented from doing so by activists for two hours. The police made 13 arrests, including that of a legislator for preventing the police from carrying out their duties. The statue was removed and is currently in the custody of the (C&ED). The 13 persons arrested were released on bail the same day.
Alliance secretaryclaimed that as Times Square was a public area, the police had no right to stop them, that similar activities had been held before, and that he had "...never been treated so barbarically and so violently...".
Alliance vice-chairmansaid that C&ED's action was unusual, and that he has contacted the department to find out if the department was trying to censor materials related to the Tiananmen Square incident.
As part of its, Hong Kong continues to enjoy western-style liberties within the settlement within China. In the past political activities that are taboo in China proper have been tolerated by the (SAR) authorities.