Organizer of the Tiananmen vigil arrested
Chow Hang-tung is accused of inciting the population to participate today in the event, banned by the police for Covid. At least 7,000 agents are deployed to prevent meetings and gatherings. Signs with threats in front of 7 Catholic churches that will remember the fallen.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Hong Kong police have arrested Chow Hang-tung, vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic this morning. The group organizes an annual vigil at Victoria Park in memory of the victims of the Tiananmen massacre: On June 4, 1989, thousands of Chinese students and citizens were slaughtered in Beijing for asking for freedom and democracy in the country.
The police said they detained Chow on charges of inciting the population on social media to participate in the demonstration; along with the democratic activist another citizen was arrested.
For the second consecutive year, the authorities have banned the holding of the night vigil, justifying the decision with the need to respect the health rules against Covid-19: those who participate risk up to five years in prison.
At least 7,000 officers have been deployed to prevent meetings and gatherings to commemorate the Tiananmen fallen; part of the Causeway Bay park has been closed to the public. Critics say coronavirus prevention is an excuse used by the city government to crack down on the Democratic front.
In recent days Chow had declared that she wanted to go to Victoria Park to light a candle in her own capacity. The Hong Kong Alliance has not asked the residents of the former British colony to give up demonstrating, but has urged them to be careful, given the possible criminal consequences. Many activists said they were ready to light candles or the torches of their smartphones at home or in a place other than Victoria Park.
The climate in the city is extremely tense. Yesterday signs appeared in front of seven Catholic churches warning the Catholic authorities not to celebrate mass for Tiananmen. According to the authors of the banners, public functions in remembrance of the events of June 1989 would violate the draconian law on national security.
The posters also featured the image of Card. Joseph Zen, former bishop of Hong Kong and well-known supporter of the democratic front. The Justice and Peace Commission of the city diocese has specified that the masses will go ahead as planned tonight.