Hong Kong | hong Kong people should conduct Thursday, the global commemoration of the Tiananmen crackdown, but without being able to participate in the traditional gathering of remembrance, banned for the first time, 31 years after.
A vigil each year attracts in the former british colony of huge crowds in remembrance of the bloody intervention of the chinese army in the night of 3 to 4 June 1989, in the vicinity of the famous place in the heart of Beijing.
The repression had been between several hundred and over a thousand dead. She had put an end to seven weeks of protests by students and workers protesting against corruption and calling for democracy.
This is a taboo subject in China. Thursday morning in Beijing, and a photographer of the AFP has been stopped by the police, who forced him to delete most of his shots, as he travelled around the Tiananmen square.
In this context, Hong Kong is the only place in the country where the event is commemorated each year, which illustrates the freedoms unique enjoyed by the autonomous region, revenue in the bosom of the chinese in 1997.
But for the first time in three decades, the vigil has not been authorized this year by the police. It has relied on the risks associated with the Covid-19, gatherings of more than eight people staying prohibited in the city.
In exchange, the organizers have called on the inhabitants to light candles at 20: 00 local (12H00 GMT) to the place where they are.
The evenings typically attract crowds of hong Kong, including the years where the concern about the attitude of Beijing vis-à-vis the autonomous territory is particularly fierce.
In the past year, the vigil of the 30th anniversary was already held in a political context strained: the executive, the hong kong pro-Beijing was attempting to impose the authorization of extradition to mainland China (excluding Hong Kong and Macao).
A week later, were to begin seven months of demonstrations almost every day in the financial metropolis.
In response to this movement, Beijing announced in late may his intention to impose in Hong Kong, a national security act, which mandates punishment for separatist activities, ” terrorists “, the subversion, and foreign interference in the territory.
The hong Kong private vigil are planning to show their defiance to Beijing in another way.
“Candles white should be distributed in about 100 to 200 points in Hong Kong “, said to AFP Chiu Yan-loy, elected by district and a member of the association “Alliance of Hong Kong” — organizing traditional vigil.
In mainland China, no public commemoration is not possible: the media silent, censors erase all mention of it on the internet and the police closely monitors the dissidents before the fateful date of 4 June.
Evidence of the extreme sensitivity of the topic, even the émojis of candle have been made unavailable on the popular chinese social network Weibo.
Vigils are planned in Taiwan and among the chinese diaspora in several western countries.
The United States welcomed, as every year, the memory of the victims.
The head of the american diplomacy Mike Pompeo met in Washington on Wednesday four figures of the movement, one of the main student leaders of the time, Wang Dan.
Washington has called on Beijing to provide “a full accounting” of the massacre, the anniversary of which telescope this year the american news: president Donald Trump has threatened to call in the army to put an end to the excesses observed across the country on the margins of protests against racism and police violence.
Brussels has called on his side to make hong Kong people are allowed to commemorate the event.
Asked about the crackdown, a spokesman for the ministry of foreign Affairs reiterated Wednesday that the chinese authorities had ” already reached a clear conclusion on the political turmoil that occurred at the end of the 1980s “.
“The great achievements of new China during the past 70 years have fully demonstrated that the development path chosen by China is entirely correct,” said Zhao Lijian.