A group of students will hold a vigil in Taipei on June 4 to mark the 24th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in China and to call for the release of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) and other political prisoners in China, organizers said yesterday.
“We not only hope to remind people about past repression, but also call their attention to the present, which is why we will be calling for the immediate release of these political prisoners,” said Tu Ching-wei, a member of a Taiwanese student advocacy group for the promotion of democracy in China that is organizing the event for the third year.
Tu said the vigil is being held to commemorate the victims of the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy student demonstrators in Beijing and to echo global calls for Liu’s release.
Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹), a student leader at the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989, is to give a speech at the event, Tu said.
Excerpts of the film The Tank Man, produced by the US’ Public Broadcasting Service, will be screened during the vigil, which is to be held at the National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Tu said.
The group is hoping that more Chinese students will attend the vigil this year, he added.
Many Chinese students have expressed concern about having their identities exposed if they participate in the vigil, so 700 masks of Liu Xiaobo’s face will be made available prior to the event this year, Tu said.
With all the participants masked, any photographs of the event will show dozens of images of Liu’s face, he said.
Tu said he expects about 500 people to attend the vigil.