Nationwide safety police arrest organizers of Hong Kong’s Tiananmen vigil

2021-09-08 11:43:32

Police had sought particulars in regards to the group’s funding and membership in relation to an accusation it was working as a “overseas agent,” in violation of town’s sweeping nationwide safety legislation, in accordance with a letter seen by CNN late final month.

The letter stated the group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Assist of Patriotic Democratic Actions of China, had 14 days to submit the data, or resist six months’ imprisonment.

Below the legislation, which was imposed by Beijing final 12 months, authorities have wide-ranging powers to crack down on political crimes.

The arrested members of group included vice chairwoman and barrister Chow Dangle-tung, in addition to standing committee members Leung Kam-wai, Tang Ngok-kwan and Chan Dor-wai, the group stated.

Chow posted on social media early Wednesday morning that police had been ringing her doorbell and making an attempt to open the door.

In a press release Wednesday morning, police confirmed that they had arrested 4 people underneath the nationwide safety legislation, although neither the assertion nor the police press workplace would establish their names or that they had been members of the Hong Kong Alliance.

The 4 people are accused of failing to adjust to the implementation of the nationwide safety legislation, stated police.

“Police operations are persevering with, and it can’t be dominated out that extra individuals could also be arrested,” the assertion added.

The Alliance, fashioned greater than three a long time in the past to assist these protesting for democracy in Beijing, stated on Sunday that it could not adjust to the police request, which included orders handy over its members’ private particulars, in addition to all assembly information with political teams in Hong Kong, Taiwan and abroad.

Town’s safety company launched a press release later Sunday with a “solemn warning” that “endangering nationwide safety is a really critical crime,” and that the Alliance “ought to instantly flip again earlier than it’s too late.”

However the group doubled down on Tuesday, submitting a letter to police arguing that they had inadequate grounds to request supplies. Of their letter, the group added that it was not a “overseas agent,” and that police had but to clarify why they believed the group was linked to overseas forces.

Tsui Hon-kwong, a member of the alliance, stated on Tuesday {that a} judicial overview had been filed to problem the police request.

In response, Carrie Lam, town’s chief, criticized the group for disobeying police. “I have to strongly condemn (the Alliance’s) statements,” Lam stated on Tuesday. Safety Chief Chris Tang additionally warned on Tuesday that those that don’t adjust to nationwide safety police orders would face penalties.

Hours later, within the early hours of Wednesday morning, the arrests had been carried out.

The Hong Kong Alliance has held an annual candlelight vigil on the anniversary of the Tiananmen pro-democracy crackdown since 1990.

The occasions of Tiananmen Sq. started with protesters in Beijing, largely school college students, gathering within the coronary heart of the Chinese language capital to mourn the demise of an ousted former chief — then, to push for governmental reform and better democracy. Within the early hours of June 4, 1989, the Chinese language army entered the sq., with orders to place down the protests.

No official demise toll has ever been launched, however rights teams estimate tons of, if not hundreds had been killed. The protests and crackdown have been wiped from the historical past books in China, censored and managed. The annual candlelight vigil in Hong Kong has been, for many years, the one mass memorial held on Chinese language soil.

However the vigil’s days look like numbered. A number of core members of the Alliance, together with former lawmakers Lee Cheuk-yan and Albert Ho, are serving jail sentences over expenses of unauthorized meeting.

This 12 months’s occasion was banned by authorities, citing coronavirus restrictions. Hong Kong’s Safety Bureau additionally warned that attending or selling any June 4 rally might violate the nationwide safety legislation and lead to imprisonment.

Prominent Hong Kong civil rights group disbands, citing government pressure

Below the safety legislation, protesters, journalists and pro-democracy figures have been arrested; newsrooms have been raided and compelled to close down; and textbooks, movies and web sites face new censorship.

A lot of different activist organizations and civic teams — lots of which, just like the Hong Kong Alliance, have been a key a part of town’s political and social material for many years — have folded after going through stress from police.

Authorities in Hong Kong have repeatedly denied they’re utilizing the legislation to crackdown on political opposition or stifle dissent.

“I’m assured that the police is utilizing this energy correctly, based mostly on the proof that they’ve, to ask for the data,” stated Lam final Tuesday when requested concerning the Alliance. “We respect civic society.”

Nonetheless, she warned, the legislation can be “totally applied” to “stamp out any actions that may endanger nationwide safety.”

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