Macao police: Vigil for Tiananmen victims illegal

Police in Macao have banned this year's vigil to remember the victims of the 1989 military crackdown on protesters in Beijing's Tiananmen Square. They say such a gathering is illegal.

Organizers of the vigil say police informed them on Tuesday that they will not permit the event this time, saying that it would infringe the sovereignty, safety, development and interests of China.

It was held every year in Macao on June 4, the day Chinese troops crushed student-led pro-democracy protests more than three decades ago.

The vigil gave citizens in Macao an opportunity to mourn victims of the crackdown and call on authorities to shed light on the incident.

Last year, authorities did not permit the vigil citing the coronavirus pandemic, but this is said to be the first time that the event has been banned on the grounds of illegality.

Public debate on the Tiananmen incident has been taboo in mainland China. The latest decision by Macao's police is taken as respecting the Chinese government's intentions.

The organizers say the annual gathering had never been declared illegal since Macao returned to Chinese rule. They say the decision is a clear political repression and violates the citizens' rights of assembly.

Citizen groups in Hong Kong are also planning to hold a similar gathering for the Tiananmen incident anniversary.