Hong Kong Police arrested six people who gathered in a public commemoration of the 33rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre on June 4.
Police arrested five men and one woman, between the ages of 19 and 80, near Victoria Park, where a candlelight vigil to commemorate the 1989 massacre victims was set to be held.
CNN reported that three of the arrested were accused of obstructing officers, one was accused of possessing an offensive weapon, and one was said to have incited others to join an unauthorized assembly.
It was not clear what the sixth person was accused of, according to CNN.
The arrests came a day after police warned the public “not to take part in, advertise, or publicize any unauthorized assemblies,” citing the Public Order Ordinance and pandemic rules.
The police said that those convicted can face up to five years in prison.
Hundreds of police, some with sniffer dogs, patrolled the area around the park.
Still, some Hong Kong residents approached the park, lit up electronic candles and phone flashlights, and quietly sang songs of remembrance.
“I think the vigil is the most important symbol of Hong Kong people’s pursuit of freedom — it shows the world our unswerving determination. I believe we all have a candle lit in our hearts tonight, no matter whether we choose to come out or not,” Lau, a longtime volunteer for the Tiananmen Mothers Campaign, told CNN.
Until recently, Hong Kong was one of the few Chinese territories that commemorated the massacre, in which the Chinese authorities opened fire on unarmed pro-democracy protesters.
The Chinese government has effectively banned the annual public vigil in Hong Kong.
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