Hong Kong organisers lose appeal to hold Tiananmen vigil

HONG KONG • Organisers of an annual vigil to commemorate the Chinese Communist government's bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989 said yesterday they had lost an appeal to hold this year's rally.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China planned to hold a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park this Friday. This marks the second year that Hong Kong police have banned the vigil, citing coronavirus restrictions.

"We have to apologise to the public. Hong Kong Alliance can no longer organise the candlelight vigil this year in a lawful manner. We will stop promoting the vigil," said Mr Richard Tsoi of the alliance.

"On that day, we won't, as an organisation and members of Hong Kong Alliance, appear and join."

Mr Tsoi said he believed the Hong Kong people would still commemorate the June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy activists in a peaceful manner.

Mr Samuel Chu, who runs the Hong Kong Democracy Council in Washington, retweeted an image of Mr Tsoi making his statement, and wrote: "We will light a candle for you and all of Hong Kong."

Hong Kong's Security Bureau issued a statement warning people not to take part in illegal assemblies or violate the national security law imposed on the territory by Beijing.

Mr Liauw Ka-kei, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong Island Region, told a news conference: "Police have reasonable grounds to believe that the activities not only include the risk of Covid-19 infection by participants and other people, but also pose a serious threat to the life and health of all citizens, jeopardising public safety and affecting the rights of others."

He said the police would adopt a zero-tolerance approach and take resolute action against anyone who violated the law.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 30, 2021, with the headline 'Hong Kong organisers lose appeal to hold Tiananmen vigil'. Subscribe