Another nine to be prosecuted over June 4 gathering - RTHK
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Another nine to be prosecuted over June 4 gathering

2020-06-12 HKT 16:33
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  • Vigil organisers held up candles at a gathering in Victoria Park on June 4 after the usual commemoration event was banned by the police. File photo: AFP
    Vigil organisers held up candles at a gathering in Victoria Park on June 4 after the usual commemoration event was banned by the police. File photo: AFP
Andrew Wan
Another nine leading members of the group which organises the annual June 4 vigil were informed on Friday that they are to be prosecuted over a commemoration gathering in Victoria Park last week, in addition to four others given the news on Thursday.

Thousands of people had gathered in the park to remember the victims of the 1989 massacre in Beijing and to call for an end to one-party rule on the mainland, even though police had refused to give permission for the annual vigil, citing pandemic gathering restrictions.

The Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China said its vice chairman Chow Hang-tung, lawmakers Andrew Wan and Leung Yiu-chung and Labour Party chairman Steven Kwok are among those to face a charge of inciting people to join an unlawful assembly.

The same charge is to be laid against committee members Figo Chan, Chiu Yan-loy, Leung Kam-Wai, Mak Hoi-wah and Cheung Man-kwong, in addition to the group's Lee Cheuk-yan, Albert Ho and Richard Tsoi, and media tycoon Jimmy Lai who were told of the prosecutions on Thursday.

Wan said the alliance had not urged anyone to go to Victoria Park that night and the police had actually facilitated people entering the site.

He accused the authorities of political persecution.

"There is a procedural problem. The police just called us and said they are going to sue us. Nobody was interviewed by the police. This is purely a political prosecution as well as persecution," he said.

"The Chinese Communist Party wants to show that they want [the vigil] stopped. But we will not stop."

On the evening of June 4, police had broadcast audio messages warning people that gatherings of more than eight were prohibited and that violators may be prosecuted. But this did not stop thousands of people flooding into Victoria Park, while police kept their distance.

Vigils were also staged across the city after activists urged people to light candles wherever they happened to be.