Hong Kong: 4 Arrested for ‘Seditious’ Acts on Tiananmen Anniversary

(AFP) — Police arrested 4 individuals in Hong Kong for “seditious” acts and “disorderly conduct” on Saturday, on the eve of the thirty fourth anniversary of the Tiananmen Sq. crackdown.

The bloody 1989 clampdown in Beijing is a extremely delicate subject for China’s communist management, and commemoration of the a whole lot killed — by some estimates, greater than 1,000 — has lengthy been forbidden within the mainland.

For many years, Hong Kong was the one Chinese language metropolis with large-scale public Tiananmen commemoration, however the annual vigil has been banned following the imposition of a nationwide safety legislation on the town in 2020.

Across the busy procuring district of Causeway Bay on Saturday, AFP reporters witnessed police bundling a number of efficiency artists — a few of whom seemed to be doing nothing — into police vans.

TOPSHOT – Police cease and search efficiency artist Chan Meitung (C) earlier than arresting her in Causeway Bay close to Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 3, 2023, a day earlier than the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Sq. crackdown. (Picture by Yan ZHAO / AFP) (Picture by YAN ZHAO/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

Late Saturday night, the police stated 4 individuals have been arrested “for disorderly conduct in a public place” and “doing acts with seditious intent”.

4 others had been suspected of “breaching the peace” and had been detained “to assist with the investigation,” the police stated on its official Fb web page.

They didn’t identify the individuals arrested and detained.

Earlier, artist Sanmu Chen had repeatedly chanted “Don’t forget June 4! Hong Kong people, don’t be afraid of them!” at a bustling Causeway Bay avenue.

An officer shouted at him to “stop doing seditious acts” earlier than authorities bundled him right into a police bus.

Police question a local journalist at Victoria Park in the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on June 2, 2023, the venue where Hong Kong people traditionally gathered annually to mourn the victims of China's Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 which the authorities have banned and vowed to stamp out any protests on the anniversary. (Photo by Peter PARKS / AFP) (Photo by PETER PARKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Police query a neighborhood journalist at Victoria Park within the Causeway Bay district of Hong Kong on June 2, 2023, the venue the place Hong Kong individuals historically gathered yearly to mourn the victims of China’s Tiananmen Sq. crackdown in 1989 which the authorities have banned and vowed to stamp out any protests on the anniversary. (Picture by Peter PARKS / AFP) (Picture by PETER PARKS/AFP by way of Getty Pictures)

One other well-known efficiency artist Chan Mei-tung was additionally taken away, with police refusing to supply the rationale for her detention.

Chan was wandering round earlier than she was stopped and searched by police, AFP reporters witnessed.

She was detained final 12 months as effectively on the anniversary’s eve. Her offending piece final 12 months was whittling a potato into the form of a candle and holding a lighter to it.

Hundreds of candles could be distributed on the now-banned annual Tiananmen vigil.

Native media reported that two different well-known activists — Lau Ka-yee and Kwan Chun-pong — had been faraway from Victoria Park by police.

Images printed confirmed that the activists had coated their mouths with pink tape whereas holding a bit of paper.

It learn that they had been fasting “in mourning for the deceased and victims of 64 (June 4) in respect for Tiananmen Mothers”.

AFP reporters additionally witnessed police detaining a younger couple wearing white and holding white chrysanthemums — a flower and color sometimes used to indicate loss and mourning.

When requested in the event that they had been being arrested, the flower-wielding man stated “I have no idea” as he was taken away.

– Banned vigil –

Chinese language troops and tanks broke up peaceable protests in Tiananmen Sq. on June 4, 1989, brutally crushing a weeks-long wave of demonstrations calling for political change.

For many years, the annual candlelight vigil in Victoria Park drew tens of hundreds till its ban in 2020.

Exterior the park in Causeway Bay, artists would do interpretive performances in regards to the crackdown and the obvious erasure of memorials taking place within the mainland.

The vigil’s organiser, Hong Kong Alliance, and its leaders had been charged with “incitement to subversion” underneath the safety legislation, which was imposed to quell the huge and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests that shook the town in 2019.

Former Alliance member Chiu Yan-loy advised AFP the police had repeatedly requested him about his June 4 plans.

“They told me multiple times not to leave home on that day,” he stated.

On Saturday, Victoria Park — which was blocked with steel limitations for the previous three years — had a “hometown fair” launched by pro-Beijing teams to advertise merchandise from the mainland. It would run till Monday.

There was a heavy police presence at Victoria Park and across the Causeway Bay space on Saturday.

Officers stopped and searched individuals strolling across the bustling procuring district, whereas an armoured car was noticed parked outdoors a mall.

One efficiency artist — who was tailed carefully by authorities on Saturday — took a quieter method, carrying a foldable chair to sit down on and take a selfie, transferring from avenue to avenue within the space across the park.

“My idea was that I wouldn’t stand still unless the police stop me,” the artist, who gave his identify as Tung, advised AFP.

Main as much as the anniversary on Sunday, officers repeatedly refused to substantiate if public Tiananmen mourning was unlawful, solely saying that “everyone should act in accordance with the law”.

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