Hong Kong

IN PHOTOS: Despite police presence, Hong Kong citizens commemorate Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

Reuters
IN PHOTOS: Despite police presence, Hong Kong citizens commemorate Tiananmen crackdown anniversary

People hold candles at Victoria Park on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.

REUTERS/Lam Yik

The annual June 4 vigil is usually held in the former British colony's Victoria Park, with people gathering to light candles for the pro-democracy demonstrators killed by Chinese troops in Beijing 32 years ago

Police blocked off a Hong Kong park to prevent people gathering to commemorate the anniversary of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on Friday, June 4.

The annual June 4 vigil is usually held in the former British colony’s Victoria Park, with people gathering to light candles for the pro-democracy demonstrators killed by Chinese troops in Beijing 32 years ago.

This year, with thousands of police deployed across the city, some marked the anniversary in churches or at home amid fears of being arrested.

Police cordoned off most of the downtown park, including football pitches and basketball courts. They also conducted stop-and-search checks across the city, with officers posted at three cross-harbour tunnels.

The heightened vigilance from authorities was a marked departure from Hong Kong’s freedoms of speech and assembly, bringing the global financial hub closer in line with mainland China’s strict controls on society, activists say.

Police did not say whether commemorating Tiananmen would breach the new national security law.

China has never provided a full account of the 1989 violence in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The death toll given by officials days later was about 300, most of them soldiers, but rights groups and witnesses say thousands of people may have perished.

Here are photos of how the people of Hong Kong still managed to remember what happened in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

People flash lights from their mobile phones, as they walk on the road outside Victoria Park after police officers dispersed them on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Lam Yik
Police officers disperse people mourning at Victoria Park on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Lam Yik
Police officers disperse people mourning at Victoria Park on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Lam Yik
People light candles at Victoria Park on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Lam Yik
University students observe a minute of silence in front of the “Pillar of Shame” statue at the University of Hong Kong on the 32nd anniversary of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, in Hong Kong, China June 4, 2021.
REUTERS/Lam Yik

– Rappler.com