June 4, 2014 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:
“On behalf of all Canadians, we join with Chinese citizens and people around the world in commemorating the 25th anniversary of the violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989.
“Canada urges China to break its silence on these events by openly accounting for the people who were killed, detained or went missing and by launching a process of national healing and reconciliation. Only by publicly acknowledging a difficult past can nations pave the way to a more harmonious future.
“Canada is deeply troubled by indications of a crackdown in the lead-up to the anniversary, such as recent arrests and detentions of individuals for peacefully expressing their views.
“Under the Chinese constitution, Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and association. The detention of individuals for exercising these rights runs counter to China’s domestic and international human rights obligations. Canada calls for the immediate release of the detainees.”