As authorities increased security for the 34th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, Hong Kong police reported that they detained 23 persons on Sunday for “breaching public peace” and apprehended a 53-year-old woman for “obstructing police officers”.
Hong Kong, which saw most elaborate vigils in the past marking the anniversary of the brutal crackdown by Chinese troops on pro-democracy demonstrators, also witnessed restrictions clamping down on these peaceful protests.
Scores of police officers carried out numerous stop-and-search operations in the vicinity of Victoria Park, the earlier location of yearly vigils. Police vans and armoured vehicles were also deployed to check the security.
One of the persons who joined others in the park, 51-year-old Chris To was inspected by the police. He said, “The regime wants you to forget, but you can’t forget… It (China) wants to whitewash all history. We need to use our bodies and word of mouth to tell others what happened.”
According to the police, the security personnel apprehended 11 men and 12 women between the age of 20 and 74, alleged of “breaching the public peace at the scene”. It also said that many people had been detained for “breaching public peace” and gathering for the purpose of provocation.
Activists in Hong Kong claim that this police action is a part of a larger effort by China to quell dissent in the city, where residents were promised 50 years of freedoms under the “one country, two systems” concept at the time Britain returned control of the territory in 1997.
As per local media, this year’s security in Hong Kong is much tighter as up to 6,000 police, including riot and anti-terrorism officers have been deployed.
People marking the anniversary faced government warnings but were confused whether their peaceful gathering are prohibited by a national security law China imposed on Hong Kong in 2020 in response to some violent mass pro-democracy rallies.
On Monday, the United Nations stated that the detentions in Hong Kong had “alarmed” it.
The suffering, according to a group of relatives known as the Tiananmen Mothers, never stopped. Human Rights in China, a watchdog based in New York, released a statement by the group which read, “Though 34 years have passed, for us, family members of those killed, the pain of losing our loved ones in that one night has tormented us to this day.”
Although there were announcements in Hong Kong against gathering at the Tiananmen Square, several people, including proprietors of book stores, secretly observed June 4.