Hong Kong Police bans Tiananmen crackdown vigil

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Representative image
Representative image

Hong Kong, May 27 (ANI): Hong Kong Police have officially banned the annual candlelight vigil to commemorate victims of China's 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

One of the organisers said on Thursday that they received letters of objection from the police, with one banning a march set for May 30 and the second banning the annual June 4 vigil, Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) reported.

The city police cited the four-person group gathering ban in view of coronavirus pandemic, for the second successive year.

The organisers also received an email from the Chief Secretary's office rejecting its request for an exemption to COVID-19 restrictions: "Although coronavirus cases involving the mutant strain have not led to a community outbreak in Hong Kong, we must remain vigilant as neighbouring regions have seen a rebound in cases," the email read.

Hong Kong Alliance's vice-chair Chow Hang-tung last week had said that the group would "still organise some sort of vigil to commemorate June 4," even if police were to ban the annual vigil.

"You can go down to the street and light a candle - that cannot be in any way against the law," Chow said. "We are asking Hong Kong people to light a candle at 8 pm, wherever you are. It is a different way of organising."

Earlier, the administration that manages Victoria Park, had already effectively banned the vigil. Back in April, it had suspended processing applications from all organisations for the leasing of its facilities, due to COVID-19 concerns.

Last year, tens of thousands of people had defied coronavirus restrictions to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.The annual vigil carried out to remember thousands killed when Chinese soldiers cracked down on pro-democracy in Beijing on June 4, 1989. (ANI)