Lighting a candle for the freedoms of Tiananmen and Hong Kong


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On June 4 every year for the past three decades, tens of thousands of Hong Kong residents have gathered in a park to celebrate by candlelight, to mourn those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing.

The incident, also known as “June Fourth”, is considered highly politically sensitive on the mainland. Hong Kong was one of the very few places in China that allowed a public memorial – but that tradition is now under threat.

Authorities banned the event for the second year in a row. They have cited Covid concerns – but activists fear it is part of an ongoing crackdown on Hong Kong’s freedoms, including the arrests of activists.

Zhao Hang-tung, vice president of the Hong Kong Alliance organizing the vigil, called on those in the city to light candles.

She spoke to the BBC several days before her arrest on the morning of 4 June.

Video by Lui Wang and Lam Chu Wei from BBC China. Additional production for Tessa Wong.


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