06/01/2020, 09.42
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Under Security Law, will commemoration of June 4 (Tiananmen massacre) mean prison?

by Paul Wang

This year, for "health" reasons, a vigil commemorating the dead in Tiananmen has been banned. Hong Kong is the only place in the Chinese world where that event has been remembered for 30 years. Maria Tam, a former member of the British government and now one of the most faithful voices in Beijing, reassures us: if there are no secessionist claims, the vigil can be held. For the Tam, there is no single party in China, or a dictatorship.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Will those who remember the people killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4, 1989, go to prison?

This is the question that many young people in Hong Kong are asking now that the Chinese parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC) decided to launch a security law to be imposed on the territory. The law should punish and prevent actions and activities that endanger national security. Hong Kong residents may be arrested for subversion, secession, terrorism and collaboration with foreign forces interfering in the affairs of the city.

Hong Kong is the only city in the Chinese world where for 30 years the people killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre are remembered with a vigil that gathers up to 150 thousand people. This year, due to anti-Covid restrictions, the police are not giving permission for gatherings with more than 8 people.

Many democratic leaders, supporters of the vigil, suspect that the "health" concerns are only a façade which is allowing the government to achieve its goal of eliminating the vigil for Tiananmen permanently, in line with the wishes of Beijing. In China, anyone who makes a gesture in memory of the massacre is imprisoned.

Rthk, the Hong Kong broadcaster, asked Maria Tam, one of the politicians most loyal to Beijing, a member of the NPC Standing Committee, who will be tasked with the roll out of the security law. Maria Tam is famous for being "faithful" to British colonialists as well: in the 1980s she was even part of the Executive Council, the government cabinet.

A reporter asked her if it is dangerous for people to shout slogans calling for an end to the one-party in China. The answer always reported by Rthk is: it depends on the circumstances in which these slogans are shouted.

She was asked if the new law would prohibit the request for an end to the "single party dictatorship". Maria Tam replied that there is no similar dictatorship in China because the country has many political parties. Indeed, in China there are some small political parties, which however recognize the supremacy of the Chinese Communist Party and are not considered equal. Tam advised that if such a slogan is shouted at a demonstration, it is better that the participants distance themselves, to be on the right and safer side.

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