June 5, 2023


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John Peder Egenæs i Amnesty International Noreg viser kor "Skamstøtta" skal stå i Universitetshagen i Oslo.

Monument to the Tiananmen Massacre in Oslo – NRK Norway – An overview of news from different parts of the country

The ‘Pillar of Shame’ statue was erected outside the University of Hong Kong in 1997.

The eight-meter-high monument was a memorial then Tiananmen Square massacre June 4, 1989.

in December Last year the statue was removed By the university at the request of the Chinese authorities.

On May 25, another copy of the statue will be unveiled at the Law School in Oslo.

Here he will stand for a little less than a month.

The construction of the memorial in Oslo is a collaboration between Amnesty International Norway, the Hong Kong Committee of Norway and Danish artist Jens Galchiot.

The memorial to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, when it was erected, in Hong Kong.

Photo: Kin Cheung/AP

The statue that came to Oslo previously stood in front of the Folketing in Copenhagen.

This has prompted a major political backlash from the Chinese authorities, said Secretary-General John Peder Igens of Amnesty Norway.

– So we expect the Chinese authorities will hate this very much.

Asking for the statue to be removed

Until the removal of the statue from the University of Hong Kong, the Special Administrative Region was the only city in China where one could honor the victims of the massacre.

In 2020 and 2021, tags were officially banned due to the pandemic.

– There is no doubt as to why the statue is now removed, says Egenæs.

It is believed that the Chinese authorities are trying to remove the 1989 incident from people’s memory.

A memorial to pro-democracy activists in Beijing's Tiananmen Square will be erected by the University of Hong Kong on December 22, 2021.

The University of Hong Kong memorial was removed on December 23, 2021.

Photo: TYRONE SIU / Reuters

When a copy of the statue was erected in Copenhagen, the Chinese embassy demanded that it be removed.

Appears in a telephone report as Administration in Copenhagen, quoted by Jyllandsposten.

The embassy said the statue would support Chinese tourists in the city and create a bad relationship between Denmark and China.

In addition, they claimed that the statue represented a security risk, as it could lead to riots.

Despite embassy inquiries, the statue, which is now being sent to Oslo, was allowed to stand.

Chinese Embassy in Norway.

Chinese Embassy in Norway.

Photo: Håkon Marius Brustad / NRK

Egenæs believes this will also lead to reactions from the Chinese Embassy in Norway.

– We live in a country with freedom of expression and they have to put up with it.

It does not conflict with China’s core interests

In 2016, Norway and China entered into a new agreement to normalize their relations, after several years on an ice front.

The reason for this is that Norway awarded the Peace Prize to the critic of the Chinese regime, Liu Xiaobo.

The agreement has been criticized for limiting Norway’s room to maneuver over China. The reason is that the agreement states that Norway must respect China’s core interests.

According to the agreement, it is Norway’s responsibility not to make the situation more acidic again.

Secretary-General Ignace believes that the erection of this statue is not inconsistent with this Agreement.

John Peder Ignace

Amnesty International Norway Secretary General, John Peder Ignis.

Photo: Bjorn Olaf Nordahl / NRK

Can the Chinese authorities say that this is a breach of this agreement?

– They might try, but then I really hope that the Norwegian authorities will stand up and do what they claim they can do despite this agreement, which is to criticize China for its human rights violations.

A tougher stance should be taken

The massacre will be commemorated with the statue in the university garden in Oslo.

I think Norway should take a tougher stance and re-evaluate its relationship with China.

This is said Stephen Huicheng Yip, vice-chairman of the Hong Kong Commission in Norway. He said that it is not possible to hold such a celebration in Hong Kong no.

– It’s sad that we can no longer do that in Hong Kong.

Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Committee of Norway, Stephen Huicheng Yip, at the University Park in Oslo.

Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Committee of Norway, Stephen Huicheng Yip, at the University Park in Oslo.

Photo: Håkon Marius Brustad / NRK

He believes that the statue reminds us that it is the students who sacrifice the most for freedom and democracy.

It was the students who started the protests in Tiananmen Square, and it was the students who started the protest in 2019, he says.

You want to be reminded of shameful events

The original statue was made by Danish artist Jens Galschiøt.

The statue in Hong Kong is one of four in the Galschiøt series of art that will remind and warn people of what he describes as shameful events that should never happen.

In 2020, the artist created a version of “Skamsøyla” before Folketing in Copenhagen.

The statue was to show support for the people of Hong Kong then Chinese authorities introduced a new national insurance law.

The law gave the government the right to crack down on critics of the Chinese government in the territory.

Summary of the events of Beijing on the night of June 4, 1989.

It won’t stop development

NRK has been in contact with the Chinese Embassy in Oslo, which is contained in an email.

They write, among other things, that democracy and freedom are “fundamental rights of the Chinese people.”

The Chinese embassy also claims that “some institutions will not open their eyes to the facts and the truth”, and that these “many times have distorted China and interfered in their country’s affairs, under the guise of human rights.”

– China will not stop development due to isolated noise, it says in the email.

Finally, the embassy wrote that it hopes and believes that the Norwegian people “will not be deceived by these individuals,” but are interested “in learning more about real and colorful China, with an objective and rational attitude.”

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