Hundreds join Hong Kong Tiananmen democracy march

Hundreds of people were killed in central Beijing on night of June 3-4, 1989.

Hong Kong: About 1,000 pro-democracy supporters marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to call for justice for the victims of the bloody 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing.

The march came ahead of an annual candlelight vigil in Hong Kong on Saturday to mark the 22nd anniversary of the June 04 crushing of pro-democracy protests which is expected to draw thousands of people.

The protesters, who were mostly clad in black and white as a sign of mourning, carried banners and placards as they marched from Victoria Park to the government offices watched by the police.

Carrying a white three-metre (10-foot) tall "Goddess of Democracy" statue and a black makeshift coffin to honour those who died, they chanted slogans like "Justice for June 4" and "Return power to the people".

"The truth of June 4 should be respected, the movement of June 4 should be vindicated," said Albert Ho, secretary general of the Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which led the march.

"Those who are responsible should be brought to justice," Ho, who is also a prominent lawmaker, said as he called on China to end its "one-party dictatorship".

Hundreds, if not thousands, of people were killed in central Beijing on the night of June 3-4, 1989, when the military violently crushed six weeks of student-led democracy protests on Tiananmen Square.

Chinese authorities keep a tight lid on details about the Tiananmen protests, which remain a taboo subject on the mainland, but Hong Kong activists frequently cite the crackdown in their criticism of Beijing.

Hong Kong, a former British colony, returned to Chinese rule in 1997 but maintains semi-autonomous status from China and enjoys civil liberties not seen on the mainland.

On Saturday, activists erected a "Goddess of Democracy" statue -- a replica of one built by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 -- in a busy shopping district in the city.

Last year, two similar statues were seized by the police and 13 activists arrested. One of the 13 was later charged under public entertainment laws for failing to get approval to display the statue.

Bureau Report

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