Nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were sentenced to between six and 10 months in prison on Wednesday (Sept 15) for participating in an unauthorized assembly eventually year’s vigil for the victims of China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on protesters.
The former British colony, which returned to Chinese rule out 1997 with the promise of wide-ranging freedoms, traditionally holds the most important June 4 vigil within the world.
But the last two vigils were banned by the police, citing coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings.
The ban was seen by many activists as an effort to pack up any display of defiance to Beijing, coming after the mass pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019.
Hong Kong authorities denied that was the rationale.
Despite the ban, thousands turned up to light candles across the town last year, and smaller crowds did an equivalent in 2021.