Tiananmen vigil group leaders arrested in Hong Kong raids

Police had demanded the group hand over information on finances, supporters as part of a national security investigation.

At least four senior members of the group that organises Hong Kong’s annual vigil to remember the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown were arrested after a series of raids by police.

Chow Hang-tung, the vice chairwoman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China (Hong Kong Alliance), was taken away from her office at about 8am (00:00 GMT) on Wednesday, the South China Morning Post reported. Chow, a lawyer, had been due in court where she is representing one of 47 defendants in a national security trial over democrats’ decision to hold a primary to choose their candidates for Legislative Council elections that were later delayed.

Committee members Leung Kam-wai, Tang Ngok-kwan and Chan Dor-wai were also arrested, the paper said.

The four had broken the national security law by refusing to provide information demanded for an investigation, an unnamed police source told the paper.

Police last month accused the Alliance of alleged ‘collusion with foreign powers’, demanding the group hand over details of its membership and finances.

On Tuesday, the deadline set by police to provide the information, the group announced that it would not be doing so.

The police said failure to provide the information by the deadline could result in a 100,000 Hong Kong dollar fine ($12,860) and six months in jail.

China imposed the national security law on Hong Kong last June, punishing acts deemed secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with life sentences.

Dozens have been arrested since, many of them pro-democracy politicians and activists, while others have left the territory.