Wed, 20 Oct 2021

Hong Kong, September 26 (ANI): A Hong Kong pro-democracy group that used to organise the annual June 4 vigils for victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident has decided to disband amid intensifying government crackdown.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China reached the decision at an emergency meeting on Saturday, reported NHK World.

The group organises a candlelight vigil as a symbol of Hong Kong's enduring freedoms.

The alliance was established in 1989 just before the Tiananmen Square incident with the goal of showing solidarity with student protesters.

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people died when the People's Liberation Army was deployed to crackdown on protesters in Beijing, and the 1989 Tiananmen massacre sent shockwaves around the world. Masses of Hong Kong political figures signed petitions or published statements of condemnation.

Over the years, however, many have risen in politics as pro-Beijing figures or taken government positions, growing more tight-lipped about China's political scar. The Communist Party has still yet to account for the incident and it suppresses all mention of it in the mainland.

The group was banned from holding its annual June 4 vigil last year and this year. Alliance leaders, including Lee Cheuk-yan, have been jailed for organising rallies without permission.

On September 9, police charged the group and three of its senior members, including Lee, with inciting subversion in violation of the national security law for Hong Kong, reported NHK World.

A total of 16 democrats and activists have so far been sentenced to jail or given suspended sentences for taking part in the unauthorised candlelight vigil in 2020, the first time it was banned under COVID-19 social gathering restrictions.

Representing the alliance, Richard Tsoi told reporters that he believes the group's basic belief has taken root in the hearts of the Hong Kong people.

The alliance had been a symbol of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement for more than 30 years. It is the latest of pro-democracy unions and other organizations to decide to fold, reported NHK World. (ANI)

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