Chow Hang-tung, Hong Kong
On 4 June 2021, Chow asked people on social media to light candles in memory of the protesters killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown. Chow was arrested for daring to commemorate their lives. Now she is serving 22 months in prison for her activism. Ask Hong Kong to free Chow Hang-tung.
A brilliant student from a top university, Chow could have pursued all sorts of high-flying careers. Instead, she has dedicated her life to fearlessly protecting people’s rights as a human rights lawyer and activist.
Chow was the vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance, which organized the world’s biggest candlelight vigil commemorating victims of the Tiananmen crackdown. In 1989, hundreds – possibly thousands – of people were killed in the streets around Tiananmen Square, Beijing, as troops opened fire, killing protesters peacefully calling for economic and social reforms.
The Chinese government wants people to forget, but Chow has made it her mission to remember the victims.
In 2020 and 2021, Hong Kong authorities banned the vigil, citing public health reasons in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic. On 4 June 2021, Chow encouraged people on social media to commemorate the crackdown by lighting candles. She was arrested on that day for “advertising or publicizing unauthorized assembly”.
Chow is now serving 22 months in jail for peacefully remembering the victims of a horrific crackdown. She is also facing further imprisonment for allegedly endangering national security through her entirely peaceful actions. In the face of all this, Chow’s bravery shines through. “To say I’m not afraid would be a lie, but I’m not so afraid I dare do nothing”, she says.
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Ask Hong Kong to free Chow Hang-tung.
Tell the Hong Kong authorities to immediately release Chow Hang-tung and drop all charges, as she has been detained solely for peacefully exercising her right to freedom of expression.