For the second year in a row, Hong Kong police have banned the annual vigil from commemorating the bloody repression of the Tiananmen protest in Beijing. The organizers have announced this.
An alliance, which has been organizing a commemoration for three decades, has sent a brief message to some journalists saying that it has not been allowed to bring people together in a park in the middle of the city.
For decades, a vigil was held in the British colony to commemorate the bloody behaviour of the Chinese army at a student protest in Beijing in 1989. On the night of June 3-4, that intervention ended seven weeks of student and workers’ protests in China against corruption and for democracy. The intervention of the army cost the lives of several hundred to several thousand people. The topic is a big taboo in China.
Last year, the government banned the vigil for the first time in 30 years. The cause was the corona crisis, but according to critics, the authorities exploited the virus to stop the event that is a thorn in the side of the central administration in Beijing.
Tens of thousands of people opposed the ban and peacefully commemorated the 31st anniversary of the repression of the Tiananmen protest in Victoria Park. Prosecutions were launched against 24 members of the pro-democracy movement. Several of them were sentenced to imprisonment for their participation in the vigil at the beginning of this month.
The ban for this year’s event comes two days after police in neighbouring Macau banned a similar commemoration. The police see it as a risk of “inciting undermining of the state” and “slander against central authority”. It is the first time that the government has used a political reason to ban commemoration.
In Hong Kong, demonstrations and actions against China’s growing influence have been taking place almost daily since June 2019.