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Humanitarian China’s ZOOM account shut down after Conference Commemorating 31st anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre

By Humanitarian China Team

June 11, 2020

On May 31st, Humanitarian China held the first ever ZOOM conference to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. On June 7th, Around 10 PM EST, the ZOOM account used for this conference displayed a message that it had been shut down, and repeated logins failed. ZOOM has not responded to our requests for an explanation.

The Conference represented many of the most important groups of the 1989 pro-democracy Movement and Tiananmen Massacre. More than 250 people worldwide joined the conference on ZOOM, while more than 4000 streamed through Social Media. A significant proportion of attendees were from China. Our conference provided many the opportunity to connect with activists abroad for the first time. As the most comprehensive Tiananmen conference of the last 31 years, the event was announced and reported by many news outlets.

Speakers included the Tiananmen Mothers, workers severely punished for resisting the butchering troops, organizers of the Hong Kong Candlelight Vigil, writers and scholars, as well as former student leaders. Prevented by police from reporting live, most speakers from China sent pre recorded messages. Dong Shengkun, who priorly spent 17 years imprisoned by the Chinese Government, was detained for 5 days to prevent him from attending the conference live.

We are outraged by this act from ZOOM, a U.S company. Simultaneous to our censoring, thousands in relation to the Tiananmen Commemoration and Free Hong Kong Movements were silenced within China both online and through in person detainments. The ZOOM accounts of Wang Dan and the Hong Kong Alliance were also shut down. Another commemoration event encouraging dialogue on the Massacre was attacked twice by hackers, preventing viewers from logging in.

As the most commercially popular meeting software worldwide, ZOOM is essential as an unbanned outreach to Chinese audiences remembering and commemorating Tiananmen Massacre during the Coronavirus Pandemic.

It seems possible ZOOM acted on pressure from the CCP to shut down our account. If so, ZOOM is complicit in erasing the memories of the Tiananmen Massacre in collaboration with an authoritarian government.

Humanitarian China demands an explanation of why our account was shut down, we will pursue other channels to protect our rights.

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