Chow Hang-tung

Hong Kong: Overturning of Chow Hang-tung Tiananmen acquittal another blow to rule of law

Responding to Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal overturning the acquittal of activist Chow Hang-tung on charges related to the city’s Tiananmen crackdown vigil, Amnesty International’s China director Sarah Brooks said:

“Hong Kong’s top court has levelled another blow to the rule of law in the city. The disappointing ruling announced today is the latest injustice against Chow Hang-tung, who remains unjustly detained on separate charges under the National Security Law for her entirely peaceful actions.

“The Hong Kong authorities must drop all charges against her, ensure she is free from torture and other ill-treatment and release her.

“The Hong Kong authorities unlawfully issued a blanket ban on the 2021 Tiananmen vigil. With this ruling, we worry police will enjoy even greater leeway to restrict peaceful assemblies. Peaceful protest is not a crime.”

Background

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal today reinstated Chow Hang-tung’s conviction for “inciting others to take part in an unauthorised assembly” during the city’s 2021 Tiananmen vigil, after the prosecution had appealed.

Chow had previously been acquitted of the charge in December 2022.

Lawyer Chow Hang-tung is a former leader of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, which disbanded after authorities used the annual Tiananmen candlelight vigil it had organized for 30 years as evidence of the group “endangering national security”.

Along with other members of the group, Chow Hang-tung was charged with “inciting subversion” under Hong Kong’s National Security Law, for which she faces a potential life prison sentence.