Artists Arrested in Hong Kong Ahead of Tiananmen Anniversary

Hong Kong police arrested at least two artists and two other people in the street on Saturday, on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen movement. One was in the bustling Causeway Bay district singing “Don’t Forget June 4th” over and over again. People of Hong Kong, don’t be afraid of them! “.

A police officer ordered the singer to “stop speaking seditious words”. The artist was then taken to a police van. Performer Chan Mei-Tung was also taken away after being arrested and searched by police as she was walking around the neighborhood. The artist had already been arrested in 2022 on the eve of the Tiananmen anniversary.

Two activists arrested

The police also arrested the same day a young couple who were holding white chrysanthemums, a symbol of mourning. The two people were taken away by the police without really knowing if they were under arrest. According to local media, two known activists had been kicked out of Victoria Park earlier by police.

Photos show them with their mouths covered in red tape, holding a piece of paper that reads: “In mourning for the dead and victims of 64 (June 4), respect for the mothers of Tiananmen”. Requested by theAFPthe Hong Kong police did not comment on these arrests.

An illegal commemoration?

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

But since China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong in 2020, authorities have put an end to such gatherings. As the anniversary approached this year, authorities repeatedly refused to confirm whether public commemoration was illegal, saying only that “everyone should act according to the law”.

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