One of the people who organise the annual commemoration of the student protest in Beijing Square in 1989 was arrested. According to fellow activists, Chow Hang Tung was arrested early this morning by the police.
One of them tells news agency Reuters that the authorities, with her arrest, want to discourage others from commemorating the forbidden student protest. Today it is 32 years since protesters in Tiananmen Square in Beijing were blown apart with tanks and gunshots. Estimates of the number of deaths range from a few hundred to many thousands.
Unlike China itself, the remembrance of the events in Hong Kong was allowed. “Normally there is a sea of lights in the Victoria Park, Last year the authorities did not give permission for the commemoration because of the coronavirus. That was logical then”, says correspondent Eefje Rammeloo in the CCEit Radio 1 Journal.
fact that this year, for the same reason, there should not be commemorated again is, according to Rammeloo, harder to harve because there are hardly any contamination in Hong Kong. Therefore, it is suspected that the GOC has enforced the ban for political reasons.
The Hong Kong authorities are deploying thousands of police officers to prevent the remembrance of the student protest in Beijing. “There will be surveillance. So the government wants to avoid commemorating the massacre at all costs,” says Rammeloo.
The Chow Hang Tung, which was picked up this morning, is part of an organization that, in addition to the annual commemoration, has set up a museum about the bloody Tiananmen protests. That museum was closed this week, officially due to a licensing issue.
Chow previously told international media that she already assumed that she would be arrested “at some point” for her activism. In recent weeks, she called on Hong Kong residents, despite the ban, to commemorate student protests in small circles by lighting a candle “anywhere”.
“ The commemoration of the massacre is an important moment for the opposition in Hong Kong,” says Rammeloo. It notes that the opposition has suffered a lot of blows in recent times and that fewer and fewer people still dare to speak out against the government.
“ In recent weeks, dozens of politicians, lawyers and activists have been sentenced to prison sentences under the national security law, which was introduced a year ago. People can be arrested for, for example, state undermining or conspiracy. The law is interpreted quite broadly. It also includes commemorating the massacre.”
Light Knobs and T-Shirts
Last year, thousands of people ignored the ban. They lit candles in different places in the city. According to Rammeloo, many people will remember the massacre in their own way. “Artists have invented all sorts of things. One of them is a white T-shirt with a black rectangle in exactly the ratio 6 by 4.” That refers to the date: June 4. “The artist who came up with this has also made a manual on how to make it yourself.”
“ It has also been called to write the year 1989 on light buttons so that when you turn on the light, you think about the massacre. Everything that has to do with these figures today with 4 June is extremely sensitive. Its actually a kind of sport to outwit the Chinese authorities.”
Take a look back at the student protest here: