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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Hong Kong. Arrests on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre

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Hong Kong police detained pro-democracy activist Alexandra Wong and five other activists as they tried to publicly pay tribute to the victims of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hong Kong authorities have banned public celebrations of the anniversary since 2019, which has never been allowed in mainland China.

Alexandra Wong, an opposition activist, also known as “Grandma Wong”, was arrested in the central Causeway Bay district while carrying a bouquet of flowers to a traditional candlelight vigil in memory of those killed in Tiananmen.

Arrested because of white chrysanthemums

At least five other people were arrested in the bustling Causeway Bay neighborhood on Sunday, according to AFP journalists. A woman who shouted in the street, “Raise the candles! Scream 4/6!”, referring to June 4, 1989, and a man dressed in black with a book titled “May 35”. The title is another way of referring to the Tiananmen events that occurred four days after May 31.

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detentions in Hong KongBERTHA WANG/PAP/EPA

On the eve of the anniversary, the police detained artist and performer Sanmu Chen as he shouted, “Don’t forget June 4! People of Hong Kong, don’t be afraid!” Also detained was activist Chan Mei-tung and – as reported by the AFP agency – a young couple who carried white chrysanthemums, traditionally seen as a symbol of mourning and loss.

Read also: More monuments commemorating the Tiananmen protests removed from university grounds

Detention of oppositionist Alexandra Wong BERTHA WANG/PAP/EPA

Anniversary celebrations are prohibited

Hong Kong authorities have banned public celebrations of the anniversary since 2019, which were never allowed in China continental. Ahead of this year’s anniversary, police patrols and anti-terrorist units were deployed in Victoria Park and other parts of Hong Kong, which, as reported by the South China Morning Post, preventively stopped and searched “suspect” people.

Taiwan marked the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacreReuters

Main photo source: BERTHA WANG/PAP/EPA



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