Hong Kong Tiananmen vigil group disbands following charges

Police officers stand guard as pro-democracy supporters gather outside the West Kowloon court on March 1, 2021 in Hong Kong.
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A Hong Kong democracy group voted to disband after several of its members were charged with violating a new national security law. 

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China told reporters Saturday that the group voted to disband in a 41-4 vote, Reuters reported.

The group was known for organizing an annual vigil to honor those who died during China’s 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown. 

Beijing recently instituted a new law in Hong Kong. The group’s assets were frozen by authorities for subversion under the measure. 

Members Tang Ngok-kwan, Leung Kam-wai, Chan To-wai and Tsui Hon-kwong were charged after they refused to hand over information regarding the group’s finances and other members. 

They have been denied bail by the city and have pleaded not guilty to the charges.  

The police said they needed the information because they suspected the group was “an agent of foreign forces.”

“I am not a foreign agent. I plead not guilty,” Tang Ngok-kwan said in court earlier in September. 

News of the vigil group disbanding comes as several other groups of its kind in Hong Kong have broken up as a result of the new national security law, according to Reuters. 

“I believe Hong Kong people, no matter their capacity, will continue to commemorate June 4 as before,” Richard Tsoi, the secretary of the group, said, according to Reuters.  

Many say the national security law stifles pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong and restricts freedom of speech in the city.

However, Hong Kong authorities have repeatedly denied that they are trying to suppress human rights, according to Reuters. 

Tags Hong Kong Hong Kong national security law Pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong
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