Tiananmen Square anniversary: Six people arrested in Hong Kong

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Police officers talk to a man in a street close to Tiananmen Square in Beijing (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)
Police officers talk to a man in a street close to Tiananmen Square in Beijing (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Six people have been arrested in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing in 1989 when Chinese authorities opened fire on unarmed pro-democracy protesters.

Hong Kong police on Saturday confirmed that five men and one woman had been arrested near Victoria Park, where a candlelight vigil in honour of the victims was scheduled to be held.

Of those held, three were detained for allegedly obstructing officers in the execution of their duties, one for allegedly inciting others to join an unlawful gathering, and another for the possession of weapons, The Guardian reported.

Activist Yu Wai-pan, of Hong Kong’s League of Social Democrats (LSD) party, was also briefly detained but subsequently released without charge.

According to Reuters, those who turned on their mobile phones near the park, to replicate the candelight vigils which were held every year until 2020, were warned to turn them off.

Police in Hong Kong said late on Friday that part of Victoria Park – where these commemorations have previously been organised – would be shut down, adding that people should refrain from participating in “unauthorised assemblies and prohibited gatherings” in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic.

“Police will deploy adequate manpower in relevant locations tomorrow and take resolute action to enforce the law, including making arrests. The public should not defy the law,” they had warned at the time.

On the 33rd anniversary of the tragedy, hundreds of police personnel – some with sniffer dogs – were indeed deployed outside Victoria Park. Images shared on social media showed people being searched and detained by authorities on Saturday.

Hong Kong was one of the few Chinese territories which commemorated the event until China imposed a new, stringent national security law in the city, punishing acts of subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

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