Bail denied for members of Tiananmen vigil group

Bail denied for members of Tiananmen vigil group
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Bail has been denied for members of a pro-democracy group in Hong Kong that organizes the vigil for Tiananmen Square every year. 

Bail was denied by Judge Peter Law in the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court on Friday after members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China refused to turn information over to the police, Reuters reported.

Chow Hang Tung, Tang Ngok-kwan, Leung Kam-wai, Chan To-wai and Tsui Hon-kwong were all denied bail after pleading not guilty to charges of failing to give information to the police.

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The police told the group they had until Sept. 7 to turn over information about the organization’s finances, memberships and activities. 

"I am not a foreign agent. I plead not guilty," alliance member Ngok-kwan said in court, according to Reuters.

Chow also previously denied the group was a foreign agent before the arrests.

“The alliance strongly denies that we are any foreign agents,” Chow said. “We are an organization that was founded during the 1989 democratic movement; it was founded by the Hong Kong people.”

Chow has also been charged with inciting subversion, along with organization leaders Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan, Reuters noted.

The judge lifted restrictions on reporting the outcome of bail hearings in an attempt to provide transparency to the case.

The members have been charged under the city’s national security law that has been used to crack down on pro-democracy groups and those who oppose Chinese influence on Hong Kong. 

Vigils marking Beijing's Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 have been banned from China, with the new national security law affecting Hong Kong’s ability to host them in the city.