The Hong Kong police have banned public commemorations of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Since 2019, the ban is official.
According to the preliminary plans, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China had planned to light candles in central Victoria Park next Friday. For many, June 4 remains the dark date of the deadly crackdown in Beijing. This marks the second year in a row that Hong Kong police have banned the event, the reason is coronacrisis and respective health restrictions.
The leader Tsoi said he believed the Hong Kong people would still commemorate the massacre. In 2020, the vigil went ahead despite a ban due to the pandemic. This year, the situation is the same. The Hong Kong Democracy Council in Washington wrote his support on Twitter, saying “We will light a candle for you and all of Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong police welcome the ban
For Hong Kong’s Security Bureau, the ban on the anniversary is a good idea. The department has released a statement, saying that taking part in an “unauthorized assembly” on June 4 carries a maximum 5-year sentence under Hong Kong law. Even advertising the vigil could entail a 12-month jail sentence.
The senior superintendent of the Hong Kong Island Region said that the police welcomed the appeal board decision. The police believe the vigil could increase the risk of spreading COVID, as well as “jeopardizing public safety and affecting the rights of others.”