Hong Kong activists erase online content

Hong Kong activists erase online content

Group that commemorated Tiananmen massacre bows to official order under national security law

Lee Cheuk-yan (second from right), chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, joins other activists in commemorating the Tiananmen massacre at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4 last year. (AFP File Photo)
Lee Cheuk-yan (second from right), chairman of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, joins other activists in commemorating the Tiananmen massacre at Victoria Park in Hong Kong on June 4 last year. (AFP File Photo)

HONG KONG: A prominent pro-democracy group in Hong Kong known for its yearly vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown has deleted its publications on the internet, including photos of the protest at the Beijing square, to comply with police orders.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China said it had received a notice issued by the city’s police commissioner on Sept 10 that said the group must take down all its online content within seven days, in order to comply with the national security law imposed by Beijing earlier this year.

The Alliance has since closed its website, which had a large amount of content about the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, including photos of the protests and documented testimonies by families of some of the thousands of protesters killed by Chinese forces in the crackdown.

The group also deleted accounts of social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. However, it said it would continue to disseminate information by creating a new Facebook page.

Four members of the group, including vice-chairwoman Tonyee Chow, were arrested earlier this month after they refused to comply with a police demand to hand in information on its operations.

Last month, the alliance passed a resolution to disband, citing mounting suppression from the authorities as Beijing continues its efforts to crack down on dissent and turn Hong Kong into a place indistinguishable from any other Chinese city.

The group is the latest organisation to become a casualty of the Beijing-imposed national security law, which criminalises acts of “secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces”.

The Global Times, an English-language newspaper affiliated with the Communist Party-run People’s Daily, cheered the end of the alliance.

“This is the long-awaited result of Hong Kong’s righteous forces,” the newspaper said in a recent commentrary.


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