Hong Kong National Security Police investigate Tiananmen Square vigil organizers

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The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Democratic Patriotic Movements must submit personal details of all of its directors and members, including their names, dates of birth, addresses, contact details and roles, according to the police letter. He also asked the group – formed over three decades ago to support those protesting for democracy in Beijing – to provide all records of meetings with political groups in Hong Kong, Taiwan and abroad, as well as its source of income.

The police letter said the request was made because it was “reasonable to believe” that it would help investigate possible crimes against national security. The alliance must provide the information within 14 days, or it could be prosecuted, he added.

Hong Kong police confirmed to CNN in a statement that they had asked “certain people” to provide information “related to the maintenance of national security,” but declined to provide further details.

The letter came after public broadcaster RTHK reported this week that the alliance plans to disband following Beijing’s enactment last year of a sweeping national security law that criminalizes secession, subversion , terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

In the wake of the legislation, the city’s political and social landscape has changed. Under the security law, demonstrators, journalists and pro-democracy figures were arrested; newsrooms were searched and forced to close; textbooks, films and websites face new censorship; and civic organizations, including trade unions, withdrew under pressure from the authorities.

The Hong Kong Alliance has held the annual candlelight vigil to mark the anniversary of the crackdown since 1990.

The events in Tiananmen Square began with protesters in Beijing, mostly students, gathering in the heart of the Chinese capital to mourn the death of a former ousted leader, then to push for government reform and greater democracy. In the early hours of June 4, the Chinese army entered the square, with orders to quell the protests.

No official toll has ever been released, but rights groups believe hundreds, if not thousands, have been killed. Protests and repression have been erased from the history books in China, censored and controlled. The annual candlelight vigil in Hong Kong was, for decades, the only mass memorial held on Chinese soil.

But the days of the vigil seem numbered. This year’s event was banned by authorities, citing restrictions on coronaviruses. The Hong Kong Security Bureau also warned that participating in or promoting any June 4 rally could violate national security law and result in jail time.

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