HONG KONG, June 4, 2023 (AFP): Hong Kong police detained Alexandra Wong, a prominent democracy activist better known as "Grandma Wong", and five others on Sunday, the 34th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown, AFP reporters said.
Wong was carrying flowers in Hong Kong's Causeway Bay shopping district, an area that for years was the site of commemorations for the bloody June 4, 1989 crackdown in China.
Authorities surrounded the 67-year-old and escorted her to a police van. Wong held the flowers high in the air and followed the authorities without resisting.
At least five other people were detained on Sunday in Causeway Bay, according to AFP reporters.
One of them was a woman who shouted, "Raise candles! Mourn 64!" -- shorthand for the sensitive date.
Another was a young man dressed in black who carried a book titled "35th of May", another covert way to express the four days after May 31 in mainland China.
For decades Hong Kong was the only Chinese city with large-scale public commemoration of the Tiananmen events -- a key index of liberties and political pluralism afforded to its semi-autonomous status.
Since 1990, an annual vigil had been held in Causeway Bay's Victoria Park, drawing tens of thousands to a candlelight memorial.
But in 2020, a national security law was imposed on the city by Beijing to quell dissent, after huge and at times violent pro-democracy demonstrations rocked the finance hub.
Since then, the vigil has been banned and its organisers arrested and charged under the security law.
Leading up to this year's anniversary, officials repeatedly refused to confirm if public mourning of the event was illegal, only saying that "everyone should act in accordance with the law". - AFP