Thirty-three years ago, on June 4, 1989, the Chinese people, led primarily by students, rose up against injustices by the Beijing government and for fundamental values of democracy and liberty. They were brutally suppressed by the Chinese authoritarian regime in what came to be termed as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

As we observe the 33rd anniversary of the Massacre, the International Campaign for Tibet expresses solidarity with the Chinese people who continue to experience an increasing denial of their rights. Despite increasing challenges, they are not giving up.

More importantly, at a time when we see the international community is supporting the cause of freedom in Ukraine, we urge countries to adopt a similar approach toward the Chinese people, as well as those like Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghurs, who are under the People’s Republic of China’s rule. The Tiananmen Square Massacre was in one sense the failure of the international community to support the just cause of the Chinese people.

In this connection, the just-concluded visit to China by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet was a lost opportunity for her office and the world at large to convey a strong message to China about respecting universal rights.

In 1989, those who gathered at Tiananmen Square in Beijing risked everything to bring forth a new China, one that was not only materially developed but equally respectful of the rights and freedoms of its citizens. The international community must support this universal aspiration for freedom in China.