Hong Kong: Tiananmen Night Watch Group disbanded after police investigation | Human Rights News


The pro-democracy group is the latest among dozens of civil society groups that have closed down under government pressure in the past year.

A Hong Kong group that organized an annual vigil on June 4 to commemorate the protesters who died in the Tiananmen Square crackdown in China in 1989 said it was disbanding after facing “national security” charges.

After Beijing implemented a comprehensive national security law on the city, the democratic group was the latest of dozens of civil society groups in the past year—from an important union organization to the largest teachers’ union.

“I believe that Hong Kong people, regardless of their abilities, will continue to commemorate June 4th as before,” Richard Tsai, secretary of the Hong Kong League for Patriotic and Democratic Movement, told reporters on Saturday.

Cai said that the dissolution vote on the same day was supported by 41 members and 4 members opposed it.

After the group was accused of inciting subversion of new laws, authorities this month frozen the group’s assets of 2.2 million Hong Kong dollars (283,000 US dollars).

The organization said on its Facebook page on Friday that the militant group student politics for which four current and former members were charged this week will also be shut down.

The Hong Kong authorities have repeatedly denied restricting human rights and freedoms, saying that law enforcement is based on evidence and has nothing to do with the background, occupation or political beliefs of the arrested.

After the promulgation of the new law, the chill of authoritarianism has enveloped most aspects of life in the former British colonies. The law stipulates that China considers any acts of subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign powers to be punishable by life imprisonment.

Since the introduction of the new law, most democratic politicians and activists have been imprisoned or fled abroad.

On September 9, the arrested member of the gang, Leung Kam Wai, was escorted by the police [File: Tyrone Siu/Reuters]

Investigate the group

Alliance leaders Stanley Ho and Li Zhuoren have been jailed for the large-scale anti-government protests that disrupted the city in 2019. They have also been jailed. charged Inciting subversion, and another official, Vice Chairman Zhou Hengdong.

Group members Deng Yujun, Liang Jinwei, Chen Daowei and Xu Hanguang were accused of failing to provide the information requested by the police by the September 7 deadline.

In a letter sent to reporters in August, the police asked for detailed information about the organization’s membership, finances and activities.

The letter accuses the alliance of being “a Foreign agentHe also stated that missing the deadline could result in a fine of 100,000 Hong Kong dollars (13,000 U.S. dollars) and six months’ imprisonment.

Earlier this month, the police raided the Tiananmen Victims Memorial Hall, which was closed on June 4.

In August, the organization stated that the museum was closed on June 2 due to a permit investigation by the authorities and has now reopened online as an independently operated “8964 Museum.”

Hong Kong traditionally held the world’s largest annual vigil on June 4, but the police banned the last two events due to concerns about the coronavirus. Mainland China bans commemorative events and strictly censors this topic.

China has never provided a complete record of the 1989 crackdown. Officials subsequently announced the death toll for approximately 300 days, but rights groups and witnesses said that thousands of people may have been killed.

Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 and implemented the “one country, two systems” model to protect its free and independent legal system. China denies interfering in its way of life.

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