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Outrageous and shameful arrests under the new Security Law is an intimidating tactic to suppress peaceful commemoration of Tiananmen Massacre

Media Release

Toronto / Vancouver / Calgary – Wednesday May 29, 2024

On May 28, 2024, Hong Kong police arrested six people, including activist Chow Hung-tung and her mother, for “exploiting an upcoming sensitive date” to “incite hatred against the central government and the Hong Kong government.” Their crime? Posting on Facebook page of remembrance of Tiananmen crackdown on June 4, 1989.

Toronto Association for Democracy in China [TADC], Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement [VSSDM] and Movement for Democracy in China (Calgary) [MDCC] jointly condemn this outrageous and shameful act.

“Coming a week before the 35th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown, this is another shameful attempt to silence dissent and curb public commemoration of the Tiananmen tragedy,” said Cheuk Kwan of the Toronto Association for Democracy in China.

The arrests were made under the newly adopted security law known as Article 23. The law covers treason, sedition, and state secrets, and allows for closed-door trials.

Mabel Tung of the Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement said: “Article 23 further escalates the oppression of people of conscience, making anything and everything prosecutable under the pretense of ‘endangering national security.’”

Since the ban of the world’s largest candlelight vigil in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park in 2020, Canadian commemorative sites have seen greater number of Hong Kongers and people of diverse backgrounds showing up than ever before.

This year’s Canadian commemorative events will be presided by Rev Chu Yiu-Ming, currently in exile from Hong Kong. Rev Chu was a leader of the Yellow Bird operation that rescued more than 400 Tiananmen student leaders to safe countries. He was also a pivotal figure in the Occupy Central movement in 2014.

“In this current political climate where disinformation and erasure of history is rampant, lighting a candle in remembrance of the victims of Tiananmen crackdown has become an act of resistance,” Chu said. “We’ll not be intimidated. Commemoration should not be a crime. It is an honorable tradition that we have carried out for the last 35 years and will continue.”

Media Contacts:

Cheuk Kwan, Toronto Association for Democracy in China

Mabel Tung, Vancouver Society in Support of Democratic Movement


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