Hong Kong police detains activists on Tiananmen Square anniversary

Beijing: Hong Kong police searched and detained scores of people last week with four people arrested for “seditious” intent, as authorities tightened security for the 34th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, media reports said.

Police said four people had been arrested for seditious intent and four detained for “breaching public peace” near Victoria Park, the space where for years, activists and regular citizens have gathered on the Tiananmen Square anniversary.

Hong Kong activists say such police action is part of a broad campaign by China to crush dissent in the city that was promised continued freedoms for 50 years under a “one country, two systems” formula when former colonial power Britain handed it back in 1997.

Holding a small LED candle — a common sight during the annual vigil — and two flowers, Chan was immediately seized by police and hauled into a van. Earlier, Alexandra Wong, a prominent democracy activist better known as “Grandma Wong”, was also taken away. The 67-year-old was carrying flowers at the time.

Veteran journalist Mak Yin-ting, the former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, was also detained at Causeway Bay.

Hundreds or thousands were killed when army tanks and infantry descended on central Beijing on the night of June 3 and into the morning of June 4, 1989.

For decades Hong Kong was the only Chinese city with large-scale public commemoration of the Tiananmen events — a key index of liberties and political pluralism afforded to its semi-autonomous status.

Since 1990, an annual vigil had been held in the city’s Victoria Park, drawing tens of thousands to a candlelight memorial.

But in 2020, a national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing to quell dissent, after huge and at times violent pro-democracy demonstrations rocked the finance hub.

Image courtesy of Twitter@RadioFreeAsia

Share this post