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Hong Kong jails Tiananmen activists

Updated on: 12 March,2023 07:58 AM IST  |  Hong Kong
Agencies |

The three members of the group were arrested in 2021 during a pro-democracy movement and are now sentenced for 4.5 months

Hong Kong jails Tiananmen activists

Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor, secretary-general of the International Domestic Workers Federation, leaves the Wan Chai police headquarters, in Hong Kong on Saturday, after posting bail following her arrest on March 9, on suspicion of “colluding with foreign forces to endanger national security”. Pic/AFP

Three former organisers of Hong Kong’s annual vigil in remembrance of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy protests, were jailed on Saturday, for four-and-a-half months. They failed to provide authorities with information on the group, under a national security law.

Chow Hang-tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong were arrested in 2021 during a crackdown on the city’s pro-democracy movement, following massive protests, more than three years ago. They were leaders of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, and were found guilty last week. The now-defunct alliance was best known for organising candlelight vigils in Hong Kong on the anniversary of the 1989 China military’s crushing of Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, but it voted to disband in 2021 under the shadow of the Beijing-imposed national security law.

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Speaking before sentencing, Chow was defiant, while criticising what she described as the “political” nature of the case, and the decision of the court to withhold key facts. “We will continue doing what we have always done, that is to fight falsehood with truth, indignity with dignity, secrecy with openness, madness with reason, division with solidarity. We will fight these injustices wherever we must, be it on the streets, in the courtroom, or from a prison cell,” said Chow from the dock, in a speech that was interrupted several times by the law. The Alliance was accused by the prosecutor Ivan Cheung as a “foreign agent” for an unidentified organisation, after allegedly receiving HK$20,000 ($2,562.69) from it.

In a separate case, Elizabeth Tang, who was arrested for endangering national security earlier this week, was released on bail on Saturday. Tang is a veteran labour activist. In a statement on Thursday, that did not provide a name, police said they had arrested a 65-year-old woman for suspected collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security.

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