23 arrested on Tiananmen Square anniversary by HK police while diplomatic missions commemorate event in defiance (Updated)

Picture credit: US Consulate General Hong Kong and Macao/Facebook.

4th June 2023 – (Hong Kong) On the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdownHong Kong police detained more than a dozen people, including prominent pro-democracy figures.  Chan Po-ying, a veteran activist and head of the League of Social Democrats, was among those detained by police. Holding a small LED candle and two flowers, Chan was immediately seized by police and taken away in a van. She was released two hours later, according to her political party. Other recognisable pro-democracy figures detained by the police include Alexandra Wong, an activist nicknamed “Grandma Wong,” former chairwoman of the Hong Kong Journalists Association Mak Yin-ting, and Leo Tang, a former leader of the now-disbanded Confederation of Trade Unions. Tsui Hon-kwong, a former member of the Hong Kong Alliance – the group that organised the annual Tiananmen vigil – was also removed while holding an LED candle. During a patrol near the fountain in Victoria Park, a woman was found to be acting suspiciously. When approached by officers, she refused to cooperate and declined to present any identification documents. Despite being given a verbal warning, she still refused to comply, leading to her arrest.

Police have announced that they arrested 11 men and 12 women, aged between 20 and 74 years old, for disturbing public order in public places in the Wan Chai and North Point areas of Hong Kong between noon and 11 pm on Sunday. According to police reports, the suspects were involved in activities that disrupted social order and were subsequently taken into custody for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macao and the European Union diplomatic mission displayed electric candles in the windows of their offices in Central, while the consulates of Australia, Britain, and Canada released messages commemorating the anniversary. The U.S. Consulate General also posted a message on its Facebook page, quoting U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken: “On 4th June, 1989, the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) sent tanks into Tiananmen Square to brutally repress peaceful Chinese pro-democracy protesters and bystanders alike. The victims’ bravery will not be forgotten and continues to inspire advocates for these principles around the world. The United States will continue advocating for people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms in China and around the world.

Meanwhile, the German Consulate General Hong Kong shared a statement by the German Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid on the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in which he said:

  1. Today marks the 34th anniversary of the violent crackdown on the Chinese democracy movement at Tiananmen Square. I remember those victims who fought for reform in a peaceful way, many of whom were young. Many survivors have taken refuge in Hong Kong.
  2. Today, commemorative events are impossible here due to restricted freedoms. There have never been any commemorative events in mainland China. However, the memory of the Tiananmen Square massacre is indelible. Those of us who can commemorate must keep the memory alive and never forget.
Source: Facebook/European Union in Hong Kong and Macao
Source: Facebook/UK in Hong Kong
Source: Facebook/Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong & Macao
Source: Facebook/Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong and Macau
Consulate General of the Czech Republic shared the post by European union in Hong Kong and Macao.
Consulate General of France shared the post by European union in Hong Kong and Macao.
Source: Facebook/German Consulate General Hong Kong