In Hong Kong, access to the online museum in Tiananmen Square appears to be blocked

HONG KONG – Access to an online museum dedicated to victims of the 1989 Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square appears to be restricted in Hong Kong, website accusing censorship authorities .

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Democratic Patriotic Movements, organizers of the June 4 annual vigils in the world financial center, announced the opening of “Museum 8964” last month. The website operated independently of the Alliance, he said.

Hong Kong users have not been able to access the website from the city since Thursday without using virtual private networks. Internet service provider PCCW declined to comment. Suppliers HKBN and 3HK did not respond to requests for comment.

“It is a shameful act to erase historical memory,” the museum said online in a statement.

Police officers take away a cardboard box with the image of the Goddess of Democracy from the June 4 Museum in Hong Kong on September 9, 2021.Kin Cheung / AP

Hong Kong police said they could not comment on individual cases, but said national security legislation states that “the police may require service providers to take action to ban email messages. published on electronic platforms likely to endanger national security “.

As the internet in mainland China is heavily censored and access to social media platforms and foreign news sites is blocked, Hong Kong residents have so far enjoyed greater freedoms under the ” one country, two systems ”agreed when the former British colony returned to China. reigned in 1997.

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The first case of censorship under Beijing’s security law imposed on the city in 2020 emerged in January when authorities blocked access to HK Chronicles, a website inspired by the anti-government protests in Hong Kong in 2019 that have published the personal information of the police.

The physical location of the June 4 museum in Hong Kong closed in June following a licensing investigation and has since been added to a list of assets and bank accounts frozen by authorities in the part of a national security investigation against the Alliance.

The organization announced last week that it would disband after police accused her of being “an agent of foreign forces”, raided the museum premises and accused the group of inciting subversion under of the National Security Act.

Richard Tsoi of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of China’s Democratic Patriotic Movements, which has held annual Tiananmen vigils in Chinese territory for three decades, speaking after the group voted to disband on Saturday, September 25 2021.Kin Cheung / AP

The Alliance, which denies the allegations, was the last of a dozen civil society organizations to withdraw in the past year.

Its leaders Albert Ho and Lee Cheuk-yan, like dozens of other pro-democracy activists and politicians, are in jail for the 2019 protests and also face national security charges.

Hong Kong authorities have repeatedly denied restricting human rights and freedoms, saying law enforcement is evidence-based and has nothing to do with background, profession or belief policies of those arrested.

Hong Kong traditionally holds the world’s largest annual June 4 vigil, although police have banned the latter two events due to coronavirus concerns. Mainland China bans commemorations and heavily censors the subject.

China has never provided a full account of the 1989 crackdown. Authorities gave a death toll of around 300 days after, but rights groups and witnesses say thousands may have been killed. -be killed.


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