(Reuters) – Organizers of an annual vigil to commemorate the Chinese Communist government’s bloody crackdown on student-led pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989 said on Saturday they lost a call to organize this year’s gathering.
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Patriotic Democratic Movements is scheduled to hold a candlelight vigil in Victoria Park next Friday.
This marks the second year that Hong Kong police have banned the vigil, citing coronavirus restrictions.
“We have to apologize to the public. The Hong Kong Alliance can no longer hold the candlelight vigil this year legally. We will stop promoting the vigil, Richard Tsoi of the alliance told reporters.
“On that day, as an organization and members of the Hong Kong Alliance, we will not appear and join together.”
Tsoi said he believes the people of Hong Kong will always commemorate the June 4 crackdown on pro-democracy activists peacefully.
The Hong Kong Security Bureau issued a statement warning people not to take part in illegal gatherings or violate the national security law imposed on the territory by Beijing.
Liauw Ka-kei, chief superintendent of the Hong Kong Island region, told a press conference that police welcomed the appeal board’s decision, also urging the public not to participate. nor to publicize any unauthorized assembly.
“The police have reasonable grounds to believe that the activities not only include the risk of infection of COVID-19 by participants and others, but also pose a serious threat to the life and health of all citizens,” endangering public safety and affecting the rights of others. ,” he said.
Liauw said police will take a zero-tolerance approach and take resolute action against anyone who breaks the law.
The security law combined with coronavirus restrictions cleared the city streets of protesters after anti-government protests plunged the financial center into turmoil in 2019.
(Reporting by Jessie Pang; Editing by William Mallard)
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