At least 11 arrested in Hong Kong for marking Tiananmen massacre anniversary

Hong Kong, Jun 4 (EFE).- The Hong Kong police had by Sunday arrested or removed at least 11 people who tried to publicly commemorate the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre, in which thousands of protesters were killed in Beijing exactly 34 years ago.

For more than three decades, locals in the Chinese semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong used to hold events to mark the anniversary of the bloody repression of the Tiananmen Square protests on Jun. 4, 1989.

However, this year the remembrance has been silenced, as authorities in the former British colony continue to be ambivalent whether the public acts of mourning are legal.

Beijing’s increasingly severe control of Hong Kong after the 2019 pro-democracy protests has also turned Jun. 4 into a sensitive subject.

However, a handful of people decided to face the consequences of expressing themselves.

On Sunday afternoon, the Hong Kong police detained two women and a man from the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay.

After their arrest, police officers found that the man, dressed in back, was carrying a candle in his bag, while one of the women carried a paper with the words “Free Hong Kong” and “referendum.”

Local police also announced that since Saturday evening, they had arrested four persons aged between 50-60 from Causeway Bay for violating public order or acting with “seditious” intent.

The authorities said that the detainees had displayed protest objects with seditious words.

Meanwhile four others “suspected of breaching public peace” were carried to police stations for additional investigations.

Local media reported that the four dissidents arrested on Saturday included two pro-democracy activists, an artist and a dentist.

Before being arrested, the two activists had taped their mouths with red tape and silently held up a placard saying “fast,” inspired by jailed activist Xu Zhiyong’s appeal to citizens to held a day of fasting to commemorate the massacre.

The artist Sanmu Chan, aged 60, shouted “don’t forget June 4,” and “Hongkongers don’t be afraid,” as he was escorted to a police car.

Causeway Bay is situated close to the city’s largest Viktoria park, which used to be the venue for the largest candle-light vigil to mark the massacre for more than three decades.

The 2020 event was banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which was followed by similar restrictions for the next two years.

However, the program could not be held again this year despite no restrictions being in place.

Since Saturday, the Victoria park was occupied by more than 200 stalls selling China-made products as part of a fair organized by 26 pro-Beijing groups.

On Sunday, a large number of police officers were deployed to patrol around the park, while dozens of police vehicles were also parked nearby.

Despite the heavy security measures, some people marked the day silently in Causeway Bay.

A 75-year-old man, who identified himself as Tio Yip, told EFE that he had been attending the vigil for more than 30 years.

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