By Tenzin Nyidon
DHARAMSHALA, June 6: Long-time Tibet supporter, a human rights lawyer and Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Chow Hang-tung who is serving time in prison has been put under solitary confinement for undergoing a 34-hour long hunger strike to commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Chow Hang-tung, also the vice-chair of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movements of China was arrested for allegedly promoting an unauthorised assembly on the 32nd anniversary of the pro-democracy Tiananmen movement in June 2021. Subsequently, she was sentenced to 15 months for engaging in the 2021 banned Tiananmen vigil. On December 13, 2021, she was sentenced to 12 months in prison for organising and taking part in the June 4th Tiananmen vigil in 2020 and charged with “inciting subversion” by the Hong Kong Justice Secretary.
The HKA organises an annual Tiananmen vigil in Hong Kong to commemorate the thousands killed by the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing, led by Deng Xiaoping in 1989 which witnessed China crash peaceful protests with tanks and troops. Since 2020, the top authorities have denied permission for candlelight vigils. HKA disbanded in 2021 in light of the 2020 national security law which cracked down harshly on any dissent and voice against the government.
On the eve of the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen crackdown last week, dozens of pro-democracy activists including, artists and activists were arrested as they were carrying flowers near Victoria Park, where a vigil was being held and for repeatedly shouting “Don’t forget June 4” and “Hongkongers don’t be afraid” by police in Hong Kong for “breaching public peace,” according to Hong Kong Free Press.
The UN Human Rights Office on Twitter expressed ‘alarm’ to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region over detentions linked to June 4 anniversary and called for immediate release of the detainees. “We urge the release of anyone detained for exercising freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. We call on authorities to fully abide by obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” they stated.