The UN avoided this Tuesday to pronounce on the killing of it Ananmen, which is thirty years old in the midst of official silence in China. Asked repeatedly during their daily press conferences, the spokespersons of the Secretary-General, António Guterres, and the President of the General assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa, preferred not to make any specific comments on the anniversary.
Guterres’s spokesman, Stéphane Dujarric, merely pointed out that the United Nations is constantly reminding security forces and governments that they should not use excessive force in the face of civil demonstrations, a call he had just made in the current case of Sudan. Asked by journalists about whether Guterres condemns the crackdown on protests in Beijing in 1989, Dujarric noted that he had nothing more to say. Neither Guterres, nor the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, issued any statement or communiqué to commemorate the anniversary of this massacre, hours after condemning the violent repression suffered yesterday by Sudanese protesters.
In a similar line, Espinosa’s spokesman, Monica Grayley, stressed that the Tiananmen massacre is not something that happened during the mandate of the Ecuadorian diplomat and insisted that it has «nothing to add to what was said.»
Taboo in China… and at the UN?
In recent years, a number of human rights organizations have accused the UN of overlooking alleged rights violations in China, one of the most powerful countries in the organization. China is a permanent member of the Security Council, a regular member of the Human Rights Council and a major financial contributor to the United Nations.
Thirty years later, the Tiananmen massacre remains a taboo in China, where on Tuesday the anniversary passed without any reference in the official press or by the government. The Chinese executive also announced a formal complaint to the United States following a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling for the release of activists arrested for defending human rights, coinciding with the anniversary.
Condemnation of the EU and Taiwan
Meanwhile, the European Union vice-President and High Representative for foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, condemned the episode and asked Beijing to take responsibility and respect those who want to remember the date.
Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen accused China of wanting to «hide the truth» of what happened in Tiananmen, where the dimensions of military barbarity are still unknown, although different sources speak of several hundreds and up to several thousand Dead.