Hong Kong police made searches and seizures on Thursday (9) in a museum that recalls the massacre of Tiananmen Square (Tiananmen), which left hundreds dead in Beijing, capital of China, in 1989.
The Chinese government’s bloody crackdown on protesters took place on June 4, the date that gives the museum its name and is celebrated every year in Hong Kong. But China has increasingly extended its crackdown on the semi-autonomous city.
Police officers removed documents and materials from the June 4 Museum, which is currently closed, in an operation that comes a day after the arrest of four members of the Hong Kong Alliance, the group that manages the site.
Remember, in the video below, what the Tiananmen Square massacre was, a subject that is still banned in China after more than three decades:
Thirty years after the Tiananmen Square Massacre, subject is still banned in China
Among the objects seized are a large museum insignia, a paper model of the goddess of Democracy (a symbol of the 1989 student movement in Beijing) and images from the annual vigils organized by the association that manages the museum.
The searches and seizures were based on the National Security Law, which was imposed by China on Hong Kong in 2020, to eliminate any kind of opposition to the Chinese regime and repress pro-democracy groups that staged gigantic demonstrations in 2019 (see below).
Attorney and vice president of the association, Chow Hang-tung and three other associates were arrested for not providing information related to the law.
In August, police ordered the Alliance to turn over financial and operational information about the group, accusing it of being “a foreign agent”, but the request was ignored.
Department of Homeland Security officer removes plaque from the June 4 museum dedicated to the 1989 Beijing Tiananmen Square massacre in Hong Kong on September 9, 2021 — Photo: Isaac Lawrence/AFP
National Security Law
Hong Kong was a British territory until 1997, when the UK signed an agreement to return it to China. He foresaw, however, the preservation of the region’s autonomy.
But this has been increasingly disregarded by the Chinese communist government, especially after the 2018 protests for more political freedom and less Chinese intervention in Hong Kong.
The national security law was passed in 2020, without going through the Hong Kong parliament, and was incorporated into the territory’s “Basic Law”, which has served since 1997 as a “mini-Constitution”.
It criminalizes much of the opposition to the Chinese regime and gives local authorities broad investigative powers, in addition to allowing people to be sentenced to life in prison.
The law aims to crack down on “separatism”, “terrorism”, “subversion” and “collusion with external and foreign forces”, and dozens of people have already been arrested, including some of the city’s best-known pro-democracy activists. Some fled abroad.
China says the law is necessary to restore stability to Hong Kong, but critics — including several Western countries — say it buried China’s promise that the city would remain with certain freedoms and autonomy after its return in 1997.
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