Hong Kong again bans vigil for Tiananmen Square victims

Authorities in Hong Kong have again prevented an annual vigil for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, which had been held for years in the Chinese territory.

Tens of thousands of people had gathered for an annual vigil at Victoria Park and lit candles in remembrance of victims of the deadly incident.

On Saturday evening, police officers sealed off access to the park and checked people's belongings in a nearby shopping area.

Since 2020, Hong Kong authorities have banned the annual gathering, citing measures being taken for the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, China imposed a national security law on Hong Kong aimed at criminalizing anti-Beijing protests.

No groups applied for permission to hold an event for this year's anniversary after an organizing group of the annual vigil was forced to disband last year. Many pro-democracy activists have been arrested or charged.

The annual commemoration was viewed as a symbol of Hong Kong's freedom of speech and assembly guaranteed under the "one country, two systems" framework.

A man who had taken part in the vigil every year said that it's extremely difficult not to be able to say what he wants to say and that he has to hold his feelings back.