Leading Hong Kong Activists Charged For Tiananmen Vigil Gathering
Thirteen prominent Hong Kong democracy activists appeared in court on Monday. They were charged with holding an unauthorized gathering to mark the infamous Tiananmen Square crackdown. This is the latest in a string of prosecutions against protesters in the financial hub. Last month, tens of thousands of Hong Kongers defied a ban on rallies to mark the June 4 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. In 1989, Troops armed with assault rifles accompanied by tanks open fired at student-led protests demanding democracy in Tiananmen Square, Beijing.
The annual vigil in honor of those killed in the brutal crackdown has been held in Hong Kong for the last three decades and usually attracts huge crowds. This year's vigil was banned for the first time with authorities citing coronavirus measures. But thousands turned out to hold candles in their neighborhoods and in Victoria Park, the traditional site of the vigil. Police later arrested 13 leading activists who appeared at the Victoria Park vigil. All appeared in court on Monday were formally charged with "inciting" an unlawful assembly. Lee Cheuk-yan, one of the arrested activists said that this is a case of political persecution.