Hong Kong’s oldest university covered up one of the last public tributes to the deadly 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on Saturday, as Beijing continues to muzzle dissent in the financial hub.
Hong Kong was the only place in China where mass remembrance of Tiananmen was tolerated, but authorities have driven such activities underground after imposing a sweeping national security law on the city.
The University of Hong Kong (HKU) last month removed a famous statue commemorating pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese troops around Tiananmen Square. At least two other local universities removed artworks in public areas marking the crackdown that same week.
An AFP reporter saw construction workers covering the calligraphy, which read: “The heroic spirit of martyrs slaughtered in cold blood will live forever, the fire of democracy that overcomes evil will never be put out”.
Created by HKU students shortly after the crackdown, it had adorned the campus for more than three decades according to local media.
A spokesperson told reporters that the university “regularly conducts maintenance works at various locations and facilities, with the above site being one such project”.