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Police patrol Hong Kong park to enforce Tiananmen vigil ban

Police patrol Hong Kong park to enforce Tiananmen vigil ban

HONG KONG (AP) — Dozens of police officers patrolled Hong Kong's Victoria Park on Saturday following authorities for a third consecutive year banned condition commemoration of the anniversary of the deadly Tiananmen Square crackdown inside 1989.

For decades, an yearly candlelight vigil was held inside the park to remember the brutal suppression by armed force troops of student protesters demanding greater democracy inside Beijing's Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Hundreds, if not thousands, were killed.

The ban is seen while small portion of a go to snuff not here political dissent with every one other accompanied by a sign that Hong Kong is losing its freedoms while Beijing tightens its grip over the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

The vigil organizers, the Hong Kong Alliance inside Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, disbanded last year following numerous of its leaders were arrested on suspicion of violating the national safety law, which was imposed following massive pro-democracy protests inside 2019.

Authorities have cited risks from the coronavirus for banning the condition commemoration over the past trio years. Critics speak the pandemic is used while an forgive to infringe on the just to assemble.

A management statement Friday said that parts of Victoria Park, which traditionally served while the venue for the candlelight vigil, will exist closed while it may exist used for "illegal activities." The go was to "prevent some unauthorized assemblies" inside the park with every one other accompanied by to lessen the possibility of COVID-19 spread.

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Earlier inside the week, a police superintendent warned that anyone who gathered inside a category "at the same place, accompanied by the same hour dated with every one other accompanied by with a ordinary motive to convey sure views" could exist considered small portion of an unauthorized assembly.

Since the British handed over Hong Kong to China inside 1997, the city has been governed under a "one country, set of two systems" framework that gives it freedoms not found on the mainland, including freedom of speech with every one other accompanied by assembly.

For years, Hong Kong with every one other accompanied by Macao were the only places on Chinese earth allowed to commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown. In China, keywords such while "Tiananmen massacre" with every one other accompanied by "June 4" are strictly censored online, with every one other accompanied by people are not allowed to publicly mark the events.

Hong Kong's crackdown on the Tiananmen commemorations has drawn censure internationally.

"Today, the strive for democracy with every one other accompanied by freedom continues to echo inside Hong Kong, where the yearly vigil to commemorate the massacre inside Tiananmen Square was banned by the PRC with every one other accompanied by Hong Kong authorities inside an try to suppress the memories of that day," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said inside a statement, referring to the People's Republic of China.

Blinken said the U.S. would carry on accompanied by to speak not here with every one other accompanied by go forward accountability on anthropoid rights abuses by China, including those inside Hong Kong, opposed to Muslim minorities inside the western Xinjiang neighbourhood while well while Tibet.

"To the people of China with every one other accompanied by to those who carry on accompanied by to stand opposed to injustice with every one other accompanied by seek freedom, we will not fail to remember June 4," he said.

Taiwan's Foreign Ministry wrote on its Facebook page that "when this hour dated of year comes around, there is a a large amount one can't say, a a large amount one can't write, with every one other accompanied by a a large amount one can't flat look up on the internet."

The pole encouraged Chinese citizens who use a VPN to access Facebook, which is blocked inside China, with every one other accompanied by search for details on the Tiananmen Square massacre "to see what their country is hiding from them."

"We hope that no indeed additional will the individual exist sacrificed for the party, with every one other accompanied by that freedom, democracy with every one other accompanied by anthropoid rights tin become our ordinary language accompanied by them," the ministry's pole said.

Amid the ban on events inside Hong Kong, overseas gatherings with every one other accompanied by seminars inside the U.S., Taipei, Prague with every one other accompanied by somewhere else have taken on larger significance, accompanied by calls online encouraging people to participate.

In recent years, institutions including universities have too removed sculptures with every one other accompanied by artwork that mark the Tiananmen massacre to comply accompanied by a harsh national safety rules and regulations that Beijing imposed on the city inside June 2020.

Authorities have been using the rules and regulations to crack down on the opposition, accompanied by over 150 people arrested on suspicion of offences that include subversion, secession, terrorism with every one other accompanied by overseas collusion to intervene inside the city's affairs.

In December 2021, a sculpture called "Pillar of Shame," which depicts torn with every one other accompanied by twisted bodies symbolizing the lives lost throughout the massacre, was taken down at the University of Hong Kong. Officials said that no indeed approval had been obtained to display the sculpture.

A day later, set of two other universities inside the city removed monuments related to the commemoration of the Tiananmen massacre, citing similar reasons while well while legal issues.

Last week, Jens Galschioet, the creator who created "Pillar of Shame," unveiled a full-scale replica of the 8-meter- (26 foot) tall sculpture at the University of Oslo inside Norway.

Police patrol Hong Kong park to enforce Tiananmen vigil ban

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