Hong Kong activists face court over Tiananmen vigil

Hong Kong activists leaders Joshua Wong, Jimmy Lai, and two dozen others from the pro-democracy movement were in court on Tuesday (September 15), over the banned vigil that they participated in in June -- the vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

It was the first time in three decades that the vigil had been banned in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, with police citing coronavirus restrictions as the reason.

Still, despite the ban, tens of thousands of people lit candles across the city in what was largely a peaceful event on June 4th, bar a brief skirmish with riot police in one neighbourhood.

Lee Cheuk-yan was one of the vigil's organizers:

CLIP 1: "We insist that condemning the Tiananmen massacre every year with candlelight is no crime, we insist that we have the fundamental right to express ourselves against the Tiananmen massacre.”

The anniversary struck at an especially sensitive time, falling just as Beijing prepared to introduce its new security legislation, which punishes anything China sees as subversion, secession, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

June 4 commemorations are banned in mainland China, but Hong Kong traditionally held the largest vigils globally every year.