Organisers of Tuesday's June Fourth candlelight vigil at Victoria Park said the large turnout reflects ongoing concerns about the erosion of freedoms in Hong Kong.
The Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China said more than 180,000 people took part in the rally, the highest turnout since 2014.
The alliance’s secretary, Lee Cheuk-yan, said people not only wanted to mark the 30th anniversary of the 1989 military crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, but also to express worries over the government’s extradition bill – which, if passed, can see fugitives sent to jurisdictions that currently do not have a formal agreement with Hong Kong, including the mainland.
Lee also said he expects a large turnout at a proposed rally on Sunday against the extradition bill.
“People in Hong Kong are feeling really oppressed, and there’s a sense of urgency,” he said.
“Can we have this sort of vigil in the future? And the extradition bill is coming, and it is going to take away our freedoms.”
Lee also raised doubts about the safeguards highlighted by the government.
“When we look at this regime 30 years ago that killed people, today they are also suppressing human rights and freedom. How can we expect them to respect fair trial?”