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Multiple arrests in Hong Kong, where the memory of the Tiananmen crackdown is no longer tolerated


For having had a copy of the book entitled May 35, an ironic date referring to June 4 (May 31 plus four days) composed to escape Chinese censorship, a young man was taken away by the police on Sunday afternoon June 4 in Hong Kong, along with around twenty others known and unknown people, pro-democracy activists. Five thousand police had been deployed in the commercial district of Causeway Bay. Dozens of vehicles, including some very sophisticated armored vehicles never before seen by the public, lined the axes all around Victoria Park. The place is symbolic of the vigils of commemoration of June 4, 1989, the date of the massacre of Chinese students around Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

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Police said they arrested 23 people, 11 men and 12 women, aged 20 to 74, most of whom have since been released. Among them, Chan Po-ying, president of the opposition party the League of Social Democrats, “Mamie Wong”, unrepentant protester of the anti-government movement, Mak Yin-ting, the former president of the Hong Kong Journalists Association, several former organizers of the vigil, as well as ordinary Hong Kongers, like this woman whose T-shirt simply bore the inscription ” Awareness ” in Chinese characters. The day before, the artist SanMu had been arrested in the same neighborhood. Escorted by several dozen police officers, he shouted to the public: “Hongkongers, don’t be afraid! Don’t forget June 4th! » Consulates representing the United States and Europe placed candles in their windows, while Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia posted messages calling on Beijing to shed light on the taboo event in China. .

Gathering prohibited

The date of June 4, 1989 marks the night when the Chinese army intervened around Tiananmen Square to put an end to the months of mobilization of the students who demanded more democracy and freedoms. In Hong Kong, this anniversary immediately became one of the most important dates on the calendar of civil society, and the handover to China in 1997 did not interrupt this tradition. Organized by the Hong Kong Alliance in support of democratic and patriotic movements in China and authorized by the police until 2019, these vigils sometimes brought together several hundred thousand people. But the gathering was banned for the first time in thirty years in 2020, due to Covid-19, then again in 2021 and 2022. The Alliance furthermore dissolved itself in 2021, most of its leaders are in prison, including lawyer Chow Hang-tung, former vice president of the organization, who went on a 34-hour hunger strike to mark the 34e anniversary of the repression, which led to her being placed in solitary confinement.

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