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Hong Kong Jails Members of Tiananmen Vigil Group

By Voa News

March 11, 2023

FILE - The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China standing committee members, from left, Tang Ngok Kwan, Chow Hang-tung, Simon Leung Kam-wai and Tsui Hon Kwong attend a press conference in Hong Kong on Sept. 5, 2021.

Three former members of a Hong Kong group that used to organize annual vigils in remembrance of the victims of China’s 1989 crackdown in Tiananmen Square were jailed Saturday for 4½ months for failing to hand over information on the group, in accordance with Hong Kong’s national security law. The offense carries a maximum sentence of six months.

Chow Hang-tung, Tang Ngok Kwan and Tsui Hon Kwong, leaders of the now-defunct Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, were found guilty March 4.

Before the sentences were announced, Chow said, "We will continue doing what we have always done, that is to fight falsehood with truth, indignity with dignity, secrecy with openness, madness with reason, division with solidarity. We will fight these injustices wherever we must, be it on the streets, in the courtroom, or from a prison cell."

Magistrate Peter Law said, in handing down the sentence, "national security is cardinally important to public interests and the whole nation."

The annual Hong Kong candlelight vigils on June 4 drew massive crowds. It was the largest remembrance of Tiananmen Square on Chinese soil.

Supporters say the alliance’s closure has shown that freedoms and autonomy that were promised when Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 are diminishing.

The national security law criminalizes secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces to intervene in the city’s affairs as well as terrorism. Many pro-democracy activists were silenced or jailed after its enactment in 2020.

Some information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.


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