Two more statues marking Tiananmen Square massacre are torn down as crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong ramps up

 Two further universities have removed monuments commemorating the Tiananmen Square massacre as China continues to crack down on political dissent in Hong Kong.

The Chinese University of Hong Kong has torn down its statue of the Goddess of Democracy, and nearby Lingnan University removed its relief sculpture of the same goddess.

Workers remove a part of the "Pillar of Shame" statue at Hong Kong University

Workers remove a part of the "Pillar of Shame" statue at Hong Kong UniversityTheir actions follow Hong Kong University last week removing the Pillar of Shame monument marking the 1989 massacre of students in Beijing.

The Goddess of Democracy statue was modelled on the original version paraded around Tiananmen Square shortly before Chinese troops opened fire on protesters, killing what some still estimate to be as many as 10,000 people.

The Chinese University said it ‘never authorised the display of the statue on its campus’, while Lingnan University said it had ‘assessed items on campus that may pose legal and safety risks’ and removed them in ‘the best interest of the university’.

Beijing introduced a new law in June last year handing the authorities powers to tackle protesters in Hong Kong.In 2020 Hong Kong authorities used coronavirus restrictions to ban the annual candlelit vigil to the massacre.

Tens of thousands of people defied the ban to attend the vigil, amid accusations Hong Kong authorities have been in thrall to mainland China.

In October, nine pro-democracy Hong Kong activists were sentenced to between six and 10 months in prison for taking part in the vigil.

Beijing introduced a new security law for Hong Kong in June last year curbing the city’s autonomy and handing the authorities powers to tackle protestors.

The law made illegal secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign or external forces – details of the law were kept secret until after it was passed.

Pro-democracy campaigners have claimed the law is being used to bring in curbs to democratic freedoms.

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