Hong Kong bans annual Tiananmen vigil for second year running, in view of coronavirus

The Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong was banned last year for the first time in 30 years, with officials citing the curbs on movement to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Citing coronavirus restrictions, Hong Kong police has banned for a second year running the annual vigil to commemorate the Chinese government’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong was banned last year for the first time in 30 years, with officials citing the curbs on movement to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

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In a statement, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China said that the mourning of ‘June 4th’ is a collective memory of Hong Kong people over the past 31 years.

Life in Hong Kong has largely returned to normal since the outbreak of COVID-19, with schools re-opened, most workers back in offices and restaurants and shopping malls full. The government has still restricted outdoor gatherings to no more than four people, a move critics say is aimed at preventing any repeat of the 2019 protests.

International rights groups, Western governments and many in Hong Kong say Beijing is shifting the former British colony on to a more authoritarian path since it imposed a national security law on the city last June. The security law, combined with coronavirus restrictions have cleared the city’s streets of protesters after anti-government demonstrations plunged the financial hub into turmoil in 2019.

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