Hong Kong holds vigil despite ban

Hong Kong protesters gather to oppose the
erosion of their rights in 2019.
(Photo: ChinaAid)

(Hong Kong—June 5, 2020) Thousands gathered in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park for a candlelight vigil on Thursday, marking the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre and defying a police ban.

The vigil is held every year and is usually attended by more than 10,000 people. Citing COVID-19 concerns, police refused to grant the event’s organizers, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic and Democratic Movements in China, permission to hold it this year and blocked off the area.

This is the only remembrance of Tiananmen Square permitted to be held within China’s territories. Its cancellation comes alongside growing concerns for Hong Kong’s human rights. China just introduced a national security law for Hong Kong, which bans sedition, secession, and treason, among other actions. This law is an echo of one currently in place in China, which is used to target religious people and those disfavored by the state.

This is the first time the vigil has been canceled. Hong Kong locals, however, scaled the barriers and held it anyway. Some bore posters calling for Hong Kong’s independence.

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