Hong Kong authorities shut down Tiananmen massacre vigil

Victoria park

For the second year running, authorities in Hong Kong banned the annual June 4 vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. Citing the ongoing restrictions imposed to contain COVID-19, hundreds of police officers closed off Victoria Park, where the vigil has traditionally been held, and dispersed crowds who gathered with candles or their phone lights lit. Police also arrested activist Chow Hang Tung, vice chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which organizes the annual vigil. She faces charges of promoting an unauthorized assembly. Authorities warned that under the Public Order Ordinance, those attempting to attend the vigil could face five years in prison, or one year for promoting it. Last year, activists successfully defied the ban, so this marked the first year that no commemoration of the massacre was held in Hong Kong.

Two days before the anniversary, authorities also ordered closed the June 4 Memorial Museum, which is run by the Hong Kong Alliance. The order came three days after the museum in a Kowloon gallery opened its yearly exhibit of photographs and artifacts from the 1989 massacre in Beijing.

For decades, the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macao were the only places in China where public commemoration of the massacre was permitted. Authorities in Macao also canceled the city’s┬ávigil for a second year. (HKFP, HKFP, HKFP,┬áBBC News, BBC News, AP)

Photo: Jimmy Lam/HKFP