By HUIZHONG WU and KATIE TAM, Related Press
HONG KONG (AP) — The group behind the annual Tiananmen Sq. memorial vigil in Hong Kong mentioned Sunday it is not going to cooperate with police conducting a nationwide safety investigation into the group’s actions, calling it an abuse of energy.
Police notified the Hong Kong Alliance in Help of Patriotic Democratic Actions of China final month it was below investigation for working for overseas pursuits, an accusation it denied.
“It is a actually unhealthy precedent of the nationwide safety (police) abusing the facility by arbitrarily labeling any civil group as a overseas agent,” Chow Han Tung, vice chairwoman of the alliance, mentioned at a information convention known as to handle the police investigation.
“The alliance strongly denies that we’re any overseas brokers,” Chow mentioned. “We’re a corporation that was based in the course of the 1989 democratic motion, it was based by the Hong Kong folks.”
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The investigation is a part of a broad crackdown on Hong Kong civil society following mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. Authorities have tightened management over town with a sweeping nationwide safety regulation imposed by China’s ruling Communist Get together that successfully criminalized opposition to the federal government. The regulation and different adjustments have compelled a number of civil organizations to disband or seen their leaders arrested.
The annual candlelight vigil honors the scholars who died when China’s army violently suppressed large pro-democracy protests in Beijing’s Tiananmen Sq. on June 4, 1989.
Hong Kong had been the one place in China allowed to carry such a commemoration, and in previous years, tens of hundreds of individuals gathered in Victoria Park to honor the useless. Smaller crowds gathered this 12 months and in 2020 regardless of police banning the vigil, citing coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings.
Police had requested the alliance at hand over any details about teams that they had labored with abroad or in Taiwan, in addition to contact info. They didn’t point out what particular incidents prompted the investigation.
Chow mentioned the alliance has not been capable of attain a consensus on whether or not to disband. It plans to carry a normal assembly on Sept. 25 to debate the matter once more.
In August, the outstanding Hong Kong Civil Human Rights Entrance, made up of a slew of member organizations, mentioned it might now not function and selected to disband. The group organized massive protests in 2019.
Greater than 100 pro-democracy activists have been arrested below Hong Kong’s nationwide safety regulation, which outlaws subversion, secession, terrorism and overseas collusion to intrude within the metropolis’s affairs. Many different activists have gone into exile overseas.
Critics say the regulation restricts freedoms Hong Kong was promised it might keep for 50 years following the territory’s 1997 handover to China from colonial Britain.
Wu reported from Taipei, Taiwan.
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