A mainland Chinese student was jailed in Hong Kong yesterday over a plan to unfurl a massive banner commemorating Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Zeng Yuxuan (曾雨璇), 23, was accused of planning the display on a footbridge in a major commercial district of Hong Kong on the anniversary of the crackdown this year.
She pleaded guilty to one count of “attempt to carry out acts with seditious intent” and was sentenced to a total of six months in jail by Peter Law (羅德泉), a magistrate handpicked by the government to handle national security cases.
The 9m banner displayed the “Pillar of Shame” — a sculpture commemorating the 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in the Chinese capital.
Discussion of the event is highly sensitive to the Chinese Communist Party and commemoration of the hundreds killed — by some estimates, more than 1,000 — has long been forbidden in mainland China, and is increasingly so in Hong Kong.
Zeng, a student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was arrested by police in the territory in early June, before she could carry out her planned protest.
Law said Zeng was part of “a global action” and worked with “overseas persons with international influence.”
He found Zeng’s plan “comprehensive and detailed,” including renting a hotel room to appear as if she was a mainland tourist, notifying news outlets and preparing responses in case she was caught.
The Sing Tao Daily last month reported that Hong Kong police planned to arrest Danish artist Jens Galschiot, who made the original sculpture, and extradite him to China’s justice system if he tried to enter the territory.
The sculpture was dismantled and removed from the University of Hong Kong in December 2021 as the authorities clamped down on Tiananmen commemorations.
Hong Kong used to hold large annual candlelight vigils to mourn the crackdown.
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