Police arrested an organizer of Hong Kong’s annual candlelight vigil commemorating the lethal Tiananmen Square crackdown and warned people to not attend the banned occasion Friday as the town mutes its pro-democracy voices.
Hong Kong had been the final place on Chinese soil where the June 4, 1989, occasion was publicly commemorated, and tens of hundreds of people gathered in Victoria Park in previous years to honour the victims who died when China’s navy put down student-led pro-democracy protests.
In the Beijing sq. on Friday morning, safety was elevated and police checked identities of pedestrians while tour buses shuttled Chinese vacationers onto the sq. as on any other day.
When the Hong Kong vigil was banned for the second yr, authorities cited the dangers of huge crowds gathering through the coronavirus pandemic. But the motion comes amid sweeping strikes to regulate the town, together with a new nationwide safety legislation, election adjustments and arrests of many activists who participated in pro-democracy protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019.
Law Kwok-hoi, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong police pressure, urged residents to not attend the banned vigil. Taking half in an unlawful gathering has a most penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
Law additionally informed reporters police had arrested a 36-year-old lady from the Hong Kong Alliance, in addition to a 20-year-old meals supply man for promoting and publicizing an unauthorized meeting on their social media accounts even after the vigil was banned.
Tiananmen museum closed
The alliance confirmed the arrest of its vice chair, Chow Hang Tung, on Friday morning.
The alliance organized the vigil and ran the June 4 Museum devoted to remembering Tiananmen. The museum was closed this week.
After police issued an earlier warning that gathering for the vigil could also be unlawful, Chow has continued her activism, urging people to commemorate the occasion privately by lighting a candle wherever they’re.
Last yr, hundreds went to Victoria Park to mild candles and sing songs in remembrance regardless of the ban. Police later charged greater than 20 activists together with Chow for his or her participation within the unauthorized meeting.
Two other key members of the Hong Kong Alliance — Lee Cheuk-yan and Albert Ho — are behind bars for his or her participation in separate unauthorized assemblies in 2019, throughout a interval when Hong Kong noticed huge anti-government protests.
Activist anticipated arrest
Chow, a barrister in Hong Kong, mentioned in an earlier interview with The Associated Press that she was anticipating to be imprisoned sooner or later for her activism. She has been a part of the Hong Kong Alliance since 2010.
“I’m already being persecuted for participating and inciting last year’s candlelight vigil,” she mentioned.
“If I continue my activism in pushing for democracy in Hong Kong and China, surely they will come after me at some point, so it’s sort of expected.”