HONG KONG: On the anniversary of Beijing’s deadly Tiananmen crackdown, Hong Kong police detained a prominent democracy leader Chow Hang-tung on Friday morning , with authorities keen to prevent any protests.
After the government prohibited an annual candlelight vigil that has served as a day of pro-democracy people power in the city for decades, thousands of officers were on standby.
According to the sources, Ms. Chow was arrested under Section 17A of the Public Order Ordinance, which concerns publicising unlawful assemblies.
Chow, 37, is a vice-chairs of the Hong Kong Alliance, the group that organises the massive candlelight vigils in Victoria Park every June 4 to remember those slain in Beijing’s tragic 1989 crackdown on democracy supporters in Tiananmen Square.
Hong Kong police have banned this year’s vigil, citing the coronavirus pandemic despite the fact that the city has not documented a case of unexplained local transmission in more than a month.
Following the restriction, the Hong Kong Alliance announced that it will not run the vigil.
Ms. Chow, a lawyer had previously stated in press interviews that she intended to visit Victoria Park on Friday night for personal capacity.
Last year’s vigil was also cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Thousands disregarded the prohibition and rallied in the park anyhow.
Later, police arrested about two dozen democracy activists, some of whom were sentenced to prison, including other members of the Hong Kong Alliance.
Officials have warned the subversion clause of that law could be used against those marking Tiananmen.
Most of the city’s most prominent democracy figures, many of whom would organise and attend the annual Tiananmen vigils are in jail, have been arrested or have fled overseas.
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