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Hong Kong Has Jailed These Three Activists For Four Months For Holding A Tiananmen Square Vigil

Chow Hang-tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong were leaders of a now disbanded group that organized the annual vigil marking China's bloody crackdown.

A Hong Kong court has sentenced three activists to four and a half months in prison under the national security law for holding a vigil to commemorate China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

hong kong alliance support patriotic democratic movements china tiananmen jailed
The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China standing committee members (from L-R) Tang Ngok-kwan, Chow Hang-tung, Simon Leung Kam-wai and Tsui Hon-kwong attend a press conference at the June 4th Museum in Hong Kong on September 5, 2021, announcing they will not submit any documents to the police’s National Security Department and to hold an upcoming meeting to vote on dissolution. (Photo by BERTHA WANG/AFP via Getty Images)

Chow Hang-tung, a human rights lawyer, along with Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong, were leaders of a now disbanded group that organized the annual vigil on June 4.

chow hang tung hong kong tiananmen
The Vice-chairwoman of Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China Chow Hang-Tung says she has rejected publicly to comply with police with information request on its membership, finances and operations. (Photo by Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The 1989 incident, where Chinese government troops opened fire and killed thousands of student-led pro-democracy demonstrators, is strictly censored in the mainland.

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People hold candles as they gather in Mong Kok district to commemorate the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020. (Photographer: Roy Liu/Bloomberg)

The vigil in Hong Kong had been attended by tens of thousands of people every year.

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Tens of thousands of people attend the annual Tiananmen Square vigil in Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4, 2020.

It was banned by officials over COVID restrictions in 2020 and eventually outlawed in 2021.

The activists’ group, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, had been accused of being a “foreign agent” for allegedly receiving HK$20,000 (US$2,500) from an unidentified organization.

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The Vice-chairwoman of Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China Chow Hang-Tung poses for a photo. (Photo by Alex Chan Tsz Yuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

They were jailed on Saturday March 11 for not complying with a national security police request for information, according to the Guardian.

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Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China vice-chairwoman Chow Hang-tung, second left, and other members attend a press conference on September 5, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. (Photo by Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

“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,” Chow said at the sentencing. “We will fight these injustices wherever we must, be it on the streets, in the courtroom, or from a prison cell.” 

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Chow Hang Tung, vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, holds a poster at a sidewalk booth showcasing the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Hong Kong, on May 29, 2021. (Photographer: Ivan Abreu/Bloomberg)

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