July 26, 2021

pro-democracy activist “Mamie Wong” arrested as she commemorated the Tiananmen crackdown on her own

It is a new illustration of the ” zero tolerance “ with regard to the demonstrations in the former British colony. The Hong Kong police arrested, Sunday, May 30, “Mamie Wong”, a sexagenarian known for her commitment to pro-democracy, while she alone commemorated the repression of Tiananmen.

Alexandra Wong, 65, was particularly active in Hong Kong in 2019 during the popular mobilization that shook the financial center, to the point of being affectionately nicknamed “Mamie Wong”. She was often seen waving a British flag, a way of contesting the Chinese tutelage over the city, surrendered in 1997. She was arrested on Sunday for her “Participation in an illegal assembly”, as she walked towards the Liaison Office, the body representing Beijing in Hong Kong.

Today, requests to organize demonstrations are almost systematically refused, whether for health or security reasons. The police thus refused to give their authorization for the traditional vigil which is to take place on Friday in a city park to mark the 32e anniversary of the crackdown on the social and student movement in Tiananmen in 1989. This is the second year in a row that these commemorations have been banned.

Authorities cited concerns related to the coronavirus, even though the city has not recorded any local contamination of unknown origin for a month. Associations had also requested permission to organize a small march in connection with Tiananmen, Sunday, in the direction of the Liaison Office, the body representing the central government in the city. But it was also banned.

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Held for months

Mme Wong nevertheless went there, holding up a sign in remembrance of Tiananmen and a yellow umbrella, one of the symbols of the protest. The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reports that she started chanting slogans in a park before heading to the Liaison Office alone, while being followed and filmed by the police.

She has been arrested twice. “I’m all alone, I’m just an old lady. Why are you preventing me from passing? “, she asked the police, according to the SCMP, before being formally challenged. Police confirmed this arrest for “Knowingly participating in an unauthorized gathering and attempting to incite others to do the same”.

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The city supposed to enjoy a high degree of autonomy was the object of a muscular takeover of Beijing in 2020 after the popular protest of 2019. The main instrument of this repression is a controversial law on national security which was imposed by China.

Mme Wong had been at almost every rally at the start of the protest, until her disappearance in August 2019, while traveling to Shenzhen, mainland China. Mme Wong had reappeared fourteen months later in Hong Kong, explaining that she had been detained for months.

The World with AFP