Hong Kong Security Secretary Chris Tang claims to have misled readers by describing the sculpture as an ‘artwork.’
Hong Kong’s top security official has accused the Wall Street Journal of misleading its readers with an opinion piece condemning the seizure of a sculpture commemorating the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Hong Kong’s national security police last week seized the Pillar of Shame, an artwork created by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt, as part of an investigation into alleged “incitement to subversion”.
The seizure of the sculpture comes weeks before the June 4 anniversary of the crackdown, the commemoration of which has been banned in Chinese territory since Beijing passed a sweeping national security law in 2020.
The artwork, which depicts 50 torn and twisted bodies symbolizing protesters killed in the crackdown, has been kept since the University of Hong Kong removed it from its campus at night in late 2021, citing the cause safety and “legal risks” .
In a letter to the Journal on Tuesday, Hong Kong Security Secretary Chris Tang claimed it was “totally misleading” to describe the sculpture as an “artwork”.
“Just like any other case, gathering evidence after the progress of the investigation to continue the case is legal, reasonable and reasonable,” Tang said.
“That the opinion piece presents the criminal investigation exhibit as an ‘artwork’ and the case as a ‘dissent’ piece is completely misleading.”
Tang also criticized the article for saying the sculpture was seized “without due process” and “quietly,” noting that authorities had obtained a court warrant and issued a press release about in surgery.
The Journal had not published Tang’s letter as of Wednesday afternoon.
In an op-ed titled “Subversive Art is a crime in Hong Kong” published on Monday, Jillian Kay Melchior said the seizure of the sculpture shows that Hong Kong is not “back to normal” despite efforts of officials to attract tourists and businesses. .
“Its advertising campaign boasts that visitors can enjoy ‘new encounters with world-class museums and art spaces,'” wrote Melchior, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. “But apparently only art approved by the Communist Party will be exhibited, while so-called subversive art is now potentially a criminal offense.”
The Hong Kong government and the Journal did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hong Kong’s rights and freedoms, guaranteed until 2047 under an arrangement known as “one country, two systems”, have been severely eroded under the national security law, which was introduced in response to often violent protests in 2019.
Authorities in the former British colony have effectively eliminated all political opposition by arresting or disqualifying most of the city’s pro-democracy lawmakers, shutting down critical media outlets, and all but banning criticism of the Chinese Communist Party. (CCP).