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Six Arrested in Hong Kong Under New Security Law Just Days Before Tiananmen Anniversary – A Fresh Take On National Security

The recent detention of six individuals in Hong Kong signifies a significant step in the use of the newly implemented national security law of the Special Administrative Region. This controversial event transpired just a few days before the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests.

Detained on suspicion of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, the five men and one woman, including the vice chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, Chow Hang Tung, were taken into custody. A clandestine operation saw 100 police personnel involved in this arrest, portraying an image of the increasing security grip in the region, fuelled by the enforcement of the new law.

This relatively new national security law, imposed by Beijing in June 2020, has ostensibly been a tool in suppressing opposition and curbing protests in the region, which has long enjoyed a greater degree of political freedom than the mainland. The law aims to penalize acts of secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, punishable by up to life imprisonment.

Despite vocal criticism and opposition from various international bodies and human rights groups, Beijing has repeatedly justified the law as necessary to restore stability following the massive 2019 anti-government protests. The arrests under this law seemingly echo public concerns about a clampdown on free speech and activism, undermining the one country, two systems rule, designed to protect certain freedoms in Hong Kong not available in mainland China until 2047.

A significant backdrop of these arrests is the upcoming anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. It is a traditionally sensitive event that evokes the memory of the Chinese government’s violent suppression of prodemocracy movements in Beijing. In the past decades, Hong Kong has held an annual vigil on June 4, remembering the victims. This year, for the second year in a row, authorities have banned the public gathering, citing COVID-19 restrictions.

The arrested include Chow Hang Tung, vice-chairWoman of the Hong Kong Alliance, which organizes annual vigils for the victims of Tiananmen Square. Reportedly, Chow planned to commemorate the event privately and urged others to light a candle wherever they are. The police acted on allegations that the said individuals posted promotional information about an unauthorized assembly.

The imposition and now the first application of the new national security law unequivocally herald a new chapter in Hong Kong’s judicial system and populace sentiment. This recent incident has only intensified the global eye’s glare on Hong

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