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Hong Kong activists charged for taking part in Tiananmen vigil

Hong Kong activists charged for taking part in Tiananmen vigil

AFP
Hong Kong
Twenty-five Hong Kong democracy activists were charged on Thursday with taking part in a banned June candlelight vigil marking the anniversary of China’s 1989 Tiananmen crackdown.
They included prominent activist Joshua Wong, media tycoon Jimmy Lai and leaders of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, and were formally charged with “knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly”.
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the alliance, was also charged with organising the assembly on June 4 at the city’s Victoria Park.
Thirteen of those indicted were already facing incitement charges over the same event with some pleading not guilty in court.
The annual candlelight vigil in Hong Kong usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the crackdown is allowed.
But city authorities banned the event in June for the first time in 30 years, citing measures to control the spread of coronavirus.
“Hong Kong residents enjoy rights of assembly and demonstration under the Basic Law. The police’s suppression and ban on the June 4 assembly is completely driven by politics,” the Alliance said in a statement, adding that they do not fear political persecution.

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