A former leader of the Tiananmen Vigil in Hong Kong has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for the second time after convicting other supporters of attending an unauthorized gathering.
Chow Hang Tung, 36, who was sentenced to 12 months in prison in December last year for inciting and participating in the banned vigil in 2020, must now impose a court in West Kowloon following the decision that he will spend a total of 22 months in prison an additional 15 months for the invitation to participate in the vigil.
During the trial, Chow has questioned the validity of the decision to ban the 2020 Tiananmen Massacre vigil for health reasons against COVID-19, arguing that the police cannot use public health as a motive and that in this In any case, the decision was due to “public safety”, according to the newspaper “Hong Kong Free Press”.
“Make no mistake that this is only about COVID-19. Criminalizing the vigil is just an extraordinary measure at an extraordinary time. What happened here is instead a step in the systemic eradication of history, both of the Tiananmen massacre and Hong Kong’s own history of civil resistance, “the pro-democracy activist said in September.
The judge on the case said that Chow was “uncommunicative” and “evasive” during questioning and that her testimony in court was an attempt to “divert attention” as half of her defense focused on condemning the no vigilance focused.
The pro-democracy activist, vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Democratic Patriotic Movements, was arrested by Hong Kong police in June, police sources reported to the South China Morning Post.
Chow is still on trial before the courts, along with two other former leaders of the alliance of subversion, which she and two other former leaders of the Alliance disbanded in September under pressure from the authorities, under the Beijing National Security Law.
The Alliance had planned a vigil to commemorate the victims of the massacre that took place on June 4, 1989 on Tiananmen Square, but had to cancel the date. Chow had previously announced that she would personally go to Victoria Park on the night of June 4 to mourn the victims of the massacre, despite having previously been arrested.
In July, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on the Hong Kong government to drop the charges against them “.
“The Hong Kong authorities unfairly arrest and persecute Chow Hang Tung for playing a prominent role in reminding Hong Kong people and the world of the Tiananmen massacre in China in 1989,” said HRW China Senior Researcher Maya Wang.
Chow Hang Tung is among the 24 people charged with the illegal vigil of the Tiananmen massacre last year. Along with media mogul Jimmy Lai and activist Gwyneth Ho, she was the only one to plead not guilty.
The group has organized a watch every June in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park since 1989 for the events that took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing between mid-April and June that year, where the Chinese authorities suppressed a series of protests, initially spearheaded by students, and an event particularly remembered in territories such as Hong Kong and Macau.