Two dozen charged for June 4 park vigilTop News | Amy Nip 7 Aug 2020
Twenty-four activists, including former Demosisto leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai, have been charged with participating in an unauthorized assembly during the year's June 4 vigil at Victoria Park.
They will be summoned to the West Kowloon magistrates' court on September 15.
Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of vigil organizer Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, will face an extra charge of organizing an unauthorized assembly.
Also charged were Lester Shum, Tiffany Yuen Ka-wai and Gwyneth Ho Kwai-lam, who won in the pro-democracy camp's primaries but were later disqualified from running in the now-postponed Legislative Council elections.
Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Leung Hoi-ching, Sunny Cheung and "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung, who also participated in the primaries, and former lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan, Nathan Law Kwun-chung and Democratic Party district councillor Leung Kwok-wah were also charged.
Twelve people to be summoned for the new charge previously appeared in court last month for inciting others to join an unlawful assembly over the June 4 case.
Apart from Lee, they were alliance vice chair Albert Ho Chun-yan and Chow Hang-tung, members Richard Tsoi Yiu-cheong, Cheung Man-kwong, Mak Hoi-wah, Andrew Wan Siu-kin, Chiu Yan-loy, Leung Yiu-chung and Leung Kam-wai; and Labour Party's Kwok Wing-kin and Civil Human Rights Front vice convener Figo Chan Ho-wun.
The government had banned the annual vigil this year for the first time in three decades, citing Covid-19 concerns.
Lee said despite prosecution, the alliance will continue to organize the vigil next year. He said authorities are cracking down on freedom of expression and called upon people not to give in to white terror.
"Just 24 hours after I left the court yesterday [Wednesday] morning, I am now facing another charge by the government. Clearly, the regime plans to stage another crackdown on the city's activists by all means," Joshua Wong said.
On Wednesday he appeared in the West Kowloon Magistrates' Court for inciting protesters to besiege the police headquarters on June 21 last year and organizing that meeting.
Wong expects he will now be further barred from leaving Hong Kong "to tell our truth to the world."
Nathan Law, who fled to the United Kingdom and is wanted for breaching the national security law, said it is important to continue the tradition of lighting candles inside Victoria Park on June 4.
"The [crackdown] is important evidence of brutality by the Chinese Communist Party. As long as Hongkongers remember the day, the vigil can serve as a vital reminder around the world and a reason for overseas countries to hold the regime accountable," he wrote on Facebook.
Gwyneth Ho said authorities have already postponed the Legco election and is now going after activists: "There's definitely more to come."