Hong Kong: four arrested on the eve of the 34th anniversary of Tiananmen

Hong Kong police arrested four people for "seditious" and "disorderly conduct" on Saturday, on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen movement

Hong Kong: four arrested on the eve of the 34th anniversary of Tiananmen

Hong Kong police arrested four people for "seditious" and "disorderly conduct" on Saturday, on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen movement.

For more than 30 years, tens of thousands of people have gathered each year in Victoria Park for a candlelight vigil in memory of the more than 1,000 peaceful demonstrators who fell under the bullets of repression on June 4, 1989 in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, according to some estimates.

But since Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, authorities have shut down such gatherings.

In the bustling Causeway Bay district on Saturday, AFP journalists saw police arrest several performers, some of whom appeared to be doing nothing in particular, and load them into police vans.

In the evening, the police announced that four people had been arrested "for disorderly conduct in the public square", and for "acts for seditious purposes".

Four others are suspected of "disturbing public order" and have been detained to "facilitate the investigation", police said on their Facebook page.

She did not specify the names of those detained.

During the day, in Causeway Bay, artist Sanmu Chen sang "Remember June 4th! People of Hong Kong, don't be afraid of them!", AFP noted.

A policeman shouted at him "to stop speaking seditious words". The man was then loaded into a police van.

Another performance artist, Chan Mei-Tung, was also taken away. She was walking in the neighborhood when she was stopped and searched by the police, AFP noted.

Last year, she had already been arrested on the eve of the Tiananmen anniversary. She had cut a potato into the shape of a candle and lit it with a lighter.

The police also arrested a young couple on Saturday who were holding white chrysanthemums, a symbol of mourning.

When asked by AFP if they were under arrest, the man replied: "I have no idea", before being taken away.

Local media reported that two other well-known activists, Lau Ka-yee and Kwan Chun-pong -- had been expelled from Victoria Park by police.

Photos show them with their mouths covered in red tape, and holding a piece of paper that reads, "As a sign of mourning for the dead and victims of 64 (June 4), respect for the mothers of Tiananmen".

As this year's anniversary approached, authorities repeatedly refused to confirm whether public commemoration of the event was illegal, saying only that "everyone should act according to the law".

Police were present in droves on Saturday in Victoria Park and around Causeway Bay, where they were searching who walked there.

03/06/2023 18:17:46 -         Hong Kong (AFP) -         © 2023 AFP