Hong Kong police: Tiananmen vigil is banned

Hong Kong police have again banned the June 4 annual vigil that commemorates China's military crackdown on pro-democracy activists in 1989.

Public debate on the Tiananmen incident in Beijing has been taboo in mainland China.

But a civic group in Hong Kong had held the annual vigil on June 4, which is the anniversary of the deadly crackdown on the student-led movement, to remember the victims and call on authorities to shed light on the incident.

Last year, Hong Kong police for the first time banned the group from holding the event. They cited the spread of the coronavirus.

On Thursday, the police informed the organizers that they will not permit the annual vigil this year again, citing the pandemic.

The security chief of the territory, John Lee Ka-chiu, warned that those who participate will be considered violating law.

The warning comes after a court in Hong Kong handed down prison terms to four pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, for participating last year in an unauthorized memorial for the Tiananmen incident.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China which organizes the vigil issued a statement saying that the group will continue to fight for the right of citizens to mourn the June 4 lawfully.

The memorial was also planned in nearby Macao, where a "one country two systems" framework similar to Hong Kong is introduced.

But police in Macao have banned this year's event, saying such a gathering is illegal as it would infringe the sovereignty. Last year, Macao police cited the spread of the coronavirus.