Hong Kong Police Arrest Organizers Of Tiananmen Square Vigil

HONG KONG – A group from Hong Kong that organizes vigils for the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown said several of its lead...


HONG KONG – A group from Hong Kong that organizes vigils for the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown said several of its leaders were arrested on Wednesday after refusing to provide information for a police investigation.

The group, the Hong Kong Alliance for the Support of China’s Democratic Patriotic Movements, said police had requested details of its funding and membership for an investigation into whether it was acting in collusion with foreign powers, a violation of the city’s national security law.

Under the law, imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong last year, police have broad powers to demand information from groups and individuals.

At least four members of the group were arrested on Wednesday, including its vice president, Chow Hang Tung. Ms Chow documented her impending arrest on Facebook, noting that police had arrived at her door. “Does anyone have any farewell words they would like to share with me?” ” she wrote.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Ms Chow dismissed any suggestion that the group was acting on behalf of foreign powers. “If you have to say that we are the agents of anything, we are the agents of the conscience of the people of Hong Kong,” she said.

Ms Chow said police requested information dating back to the group’s founding in 1989, during the Tiananmen protest movement, but provided no explanation as to why the group was suspected of having violated the law.

“It’s absurd and an abuse of power,” Ms. Chow said.

“They try to intimidate people who participate in social movements,” she added. “We will now make it clear that this kind of bullying will stop us. We will not transmit this fear through our compliance.

Since the entry into force of the National Security Act, more than 150 people have been arrested under the law and more than 60 charged, including many of Hong Kong’s best-known politicians and opposition activists. Significant civil society groups have disbanded this year, including the Civil Human Rights Front, which staged large-scale protests, and the Hong Kong Professional Teachers Union.

The Hong Kong Alliance has come under increasing scrutiny, including questions about whether it has received funds from abroad. On Tuesday, the alliance sent a letter to police formally rejecting the request for information.

Hong Kong security secretary Chris Tang said authorities would respond quickly. Mr. Tang said he believed the details of any violation of security laws by the group would ultimately be made public in court if the authorities filed a complaint.

“Foreign agents include those who receive financial support from foreign political parties or political organizations and then act for the benefit of those foreign organizations,” he said. “I think it’s very clearly stated in the law.

The Hong Kong Alliance holds an annual vigil in Victoria Park on Hong Kong Island to remember those killed in the crackdown on the Tiananmen protest movement in 1989. The Chinese military has killed hundreds , even thousands of demonstrators.

The vigil often attracted thousands of participants. Some joined last year despite an official ban on gatherings due to the pandemic. The efforts to mark the anniversary in the park this year have largely been blocked by a large police presence.

On the morning of June 4, the anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, Ms. Chow was also arrested and charged with inciting to participate in an unauthorized rally.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Hong Kong Police Arrest Organizers Of Tiananmen Square Vigil
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