Hong Kong, citing concerns over Covid-19, has not granted permission for the annual public commemoration of the Tiananmen Square massacre, but a Catholic official said people will still be marking the date.
“We may not be able to be at the Victoria Park this year, but it does not mean that there will be no vigil,” Fung Yatming, Hong Kong diocesan spokesman, told Catholic News Service. “We have special Masses at various churches on 4th June in the evening.”
Hong Kong’s traditional vigil marks the end of weeks of student protests in 1989, when Chinese military fired on protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Estimates of those killed ranged from hundreds to thousands, with thousands wounded. British files declassified in 2017 said a Chinese official told the United Kingdom ambassador to China at the time that at least 10,000 people had been killed.
As a special administrative region, Hong Kong is the only place in China were the massacre can be commemorated, and the ceremony often draws more than 100,000 people.
During the pandemic, public gathering restrictions in Hong Kong were due to end in late May, but on 19th May, they were extended until the end of 5th June.
Masses recommenced in Hong Kong on 1st June, more than two months after they were suspended due to the coronavirus.
Picture: A file photo shows a boy taking part in a candlelight vigil at Hong Kong’s Victoria Park to mourn those who died in the 1989 military crackdown on a pro-democracy movement in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. A Hong Kong official said Catholics might not be in Victoria Park on 4th June 2020, to commemorate the anniversary of the massacre, but there will be Masses. (CNS photo/Bobby Yip, Reuters).