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Jailed Hong Kong activist gets new 10-month term over Tiananmen Square vigil

Beijing: Joshua Wong, a prominent Hong Kong activist, was sentenced to serve 10 more months in prison on Thursday for joining last year’s unsanctioned vigil to commemorate victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square, the South China Morning Post reported.

Wong, who is currently serving a 13.5-month jail term in prison for taking part in a protest that local authorities defined as a “riot” that took place outside a police station in Wan Chai on June 21, 2019, was also given a separate four-month sentence on April 13 for violating the anti-mask law in 2019 and participating in an unauthorized rally.

According to the media outlet, this time the Hong Kong court sentenced Wong and three other activists for their roles in the June 4 vigil in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park. They received four to 10-month jail sentences.

Last year, the Hong Kong police banned the annual event commemorating victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown for the first time in 30 years, citing the need to follow social distancing measures and health concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every year, Hong Kong holds events in memory of victims of the student protests that erupted in Beijing on April 15, 1989, and culminated on June 4. To stop the protesters, who were demanding democratic reforms, the Chinese army deployed tanks to the city, which led to violent clashes that, according to official data, claimed over 200 lives and left hundreds injured.

The ban on the vigil was introduced in light of protests in Hong Kong over Beijing’s plans to adopt new security legislation. Thousands of people have participated in the demonstration as they consider the bill a threat to their civil liberties. In addition, Hong Kong protesters also rallied against a new bill that would criminalize disrespect of the Chinese national anthem, which is also perceived by them as a threat to their freedom.

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