Hong Kong nationwide safety police arrest organizers of annual Tiananmen vigil


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

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

Beneath the regulation, which was imposed by Beijing final yr, authorities have wide-ranging powers to crack down on political crimes.

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

Chow posted on social media early Wednesday morning that police have been ringing her doorbell and trying to open the door.

In an announcement Wednesday morning, police confirmed they’d arrested 4 people below the nationwide safety regulation, although neither the assertion nor the police press workplace would determine their names or that they have been members of the Hong Kong Alliance.

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

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

Chow Hang-tung and two other committee members of the Hong Kong Alliance at a press conference in Hong Kong on September 7.

The Alliance, shaped greater than three many years in the past to assist these protesting for democracy in Beijing, mentioned 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.

The town’s safety company launched an announcement later Sunday with a “solemn warning” that “endangering nationwide safety is a really severe 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 they’d inadequate grounds to request supplies. Of their letter, the group added that it was not a “international agent,” and that police had but to clarify why they believed the group was linked to international forces.

Tsui Hon-kwong, a member of the alliance, mentioned 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 need to strongly condemn (the Alliance’s) statements,” Lam mentioned 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 have 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, principally faculty college students, gathering within the coronary heart of the Chinese language capital to mourn the dying of an ousted former chief — then, to push for governmental reform and larger 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 dying toll has ever been launched, however rights teams estimate a whole bunch, if not hundreds have 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 costs of unauthorized meeting.

This yr’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 regulation and end in imprisonment.

Prominent Hong Kong civil rights group disbands, citing government pressure

Beneath the safety regulation, 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.

Quite a lot of different activist organizations and civic teams — a lot 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 dealing with strain from police.

Authorities in Hong Kong have repeatedly denied they’re utilizing the regulation 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,” mentioned Lam final Tuesday when requested in regards to the Alliance. “We respect civic society.”

Nevertheless, she warned, the regulation will probably be “totally carried out” to “stamp out any actions that can endanger nationwide safety.”

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