Chow Hang-tung, a longtime supporter of Tibet, a human rights attorney, and a pro-democracy activist in Hong Kong, is now serving a jail sentence and has been placed in solitary confinement after participating in a 34-hour hunger strike to mark the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
For allegedly encouraging an unauthorized gathering on the 32nd anniversary of the pro-democracy Tiananmen struggle in June 2021, Chow Hang-tung, who is also the vice-chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, was detained. She was subsequently given a 15-month prison term for participating in the illegal Tiananmen vigil in 2021. She was charged with “inciting subversion” by the Hong Kong Justice Secretary on December 13, 2021, and given a 12-month jail term for organizing and participating in the June 4th Tiananmen vigil in 2020.
The HKA organizes an annual Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong to remember the hundreds of people who died when the People’s Liberation Army, under Deng Xiaoping, crushed peaceful demonstrations in Beijing in 1989. The highest authorities have refused to provide authorization for candlelight vigils since 2020. In light of the 2020 national security legislation, which severely punished any dissent and voice against the government, HKA dissolved in 2021.
Numerous pro-democracy activists, including artists and activists, were detained by Hong Kong police last week on the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown for repeatedly shouting “Don’t forget June 4” and “Hongkongers don’t be afraid” near Victoria Park, where a vigil was being held, and for “breaching public peace,” according to Hong Kong Free Press.
On Twitter, the UN Human Rights Office urged for the prompt release of those who had been detained in connection with the June 4th commemoration and expressed “alarm” to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. “We demand the release of everyone who has been imprisoned for exercising their right to free speech and peaceful assembly. We demand that governments fully uphold their commitments to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” they said.