- Title: Hong Kong Tiananmen museum backing up exhibits online amid new law uncertainty
- Date: 7th July 2020
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) INTERIOR OF JUNE 4TH MUSEUM VISITOR READING NEWS CLIPPINGS ABOUT CRACKDOWN VISITOR OPENING SCANNED DOCUMENTS ON KIOSK HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 3, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF HONG KONG ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT OF PATRIOTIC DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS OF CHINA, LEE CHEUK-YAN, SAYING: "And we do not know whether this June 4th museum, you know, after the passing of the law, will they see this as sort of activities that are 'subversion', because under 'subversion' the definition (is) 'undermining the system of the Chinese government'. And therefore, I think the best protection for our artifacts and materials that we have is to digitalise everything first and then put everything online." HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) VISITORS LOOKING AT CRACKDOWN ARTIFACTS VARIOUS OF VICTIMS' ARTIFACTS AND DOCUMENTS ON DISPLAY VARIOUS OF COUPLE LOOKING AT BOOKS ABOUT CRACKDOWN HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 3, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHAIRMAN OF HONG KONG ALLIANCE IN SUPPORT OF PATRIOTIC DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENTS OF CHINA, LEE CHEUK-YAN, SAYING: "And then we hope that the physical artifacts will not be confiscated in the future and that is exactly what really worries us, is that, because those artifacts are donated by the families of the victims during the Tiananmen Square massacre and for them to give it to the museum is to show the world." VARIOUS OF VISITOR LOOKING AT EXHIBITION BOARD PEPE THE FROG PROTEST DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) 76-YEAR-OLD HONG KONG RESIDENT BILL BO, SAYING: "It would be a pity (if the museum was shut down). But even if it was forced to shut down, they couldn't close what is on people's minds. It has already gotten into the hearts of the people." HONG KONG, CHINA (JULY 4, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VISITORS LOOKING AT CRACKDOWN TIMELINE
- Embargoed: 21st July 2020 03:08
- Keywords: Beijing China Chinese Communist Party Hong Kong Hong Kong protest June 4th museum Tiananmen crackdown national security law
- Location: HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA003CLT6FD3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Hong Kong museum chronicling the crackdown by Chinese troops on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square is raising funds to digitalise its collection as concerns over a new national security law create uncertainty over its future.
The sweeping legislation, which came into force in the Chinese-ruled city last week, punishes crimes related to secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison.
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, who manages the museum, said it was not clear whether the museum would be treated as subversive or undermining the Chinese government.
"We hope that the physical artefacts will not be confiscated in the future, and that is exactly what really worries us," Lee said.
Beijing's crackdown in 1989 still remains taboo in the mainland and public discussion is censored. The annual June 4 anniversaries, commemorated in Hong Kong by tens of thousands of people, are not acknowledged by the Chinese government.
The museum, in a bustling commercial area in the city's Kowloon district, plays video footage of troops opening fire on protesters as well as cartoon images and graphics of the event.
Colourful posters also depict Hong Kong's own protest movements, including those of recent years.
Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters denounce what they see as China's gradual erosion of those freedoms by Communist Party rulers in Beijing, a charge China denies.
"It's really important to have a place at least to remember what happened, because I feel like we don't have to forget the history," said German Moles, 22, a student from Spain who was visiting the museum.
Lee, who organises Hong Kong's annual Tiananmen vigil, said the museum was aiming to go online in September 2021. Police cancelled the vigil this year, citing the coronavirus.
Lee's group has raised over 60,000 HKD ($7,700) of its 1.5 million HKD ($193,000) goal so far, mainly from local supporters and those in the United States and Canada.
"We believe you can ban the rally but you cannot ban the heart, the remembrance, our memories... we will continue to remind the world what had happened 31 years ago," Lee said.
(Production: Yoyo Chow)
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