Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activist ahead of candlelight vigil marking Tiananmen crackdown; Twitter furious

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Friday, June 04, 2021, 11:16 AM IST
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Vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, Chow Hang-tung | Reuters Photo

Ahead of the annual candlelight vigil marking the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, police have arrested the vice-chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China on suspicion of promoting the banned assembly, according to a law enforcement source.

Chow Hang-tung, who is in her 30s, was detained by officers from the New Territories South Regional Crime Unit at about 7.45 am on Friday, while further arrests were expected, South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported citing the source.

The chairwoman is understood to have been detained under the Public Order Ordinance on suspicion of advertising or publicising a prohibited public assembly. This comes after the alliance earlier lost its bid to overturn a police ban on the June 4 event in Victoria Park that was imposed for the second consecutive year citing COVID-19 restrictions.

On Saturday, Chow said that she would be at an unidentified location on June 4 to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown.

"In my personal capacity, at 8am on June 4, I will keep this promise that I've been keeping for 32 years and light a candle at a place where everyone can see," she wrote on Facebook.

SCMP reported that the alliance had urged people not to gather at Causeway Bay's Victoria Park and also called off an online memorial for fear of breaching the draconian Beijing-imposed national security law, which bans secession.

The annual vigil is observed to remember the thousands killed when Chinese soldiers cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

The news has gathered widespread criticism on Twitter.

Here's what people are saying. Have a look.

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