Again No Permission for the Annual Hong Kong Protest March
Hong Kong police have refused permission for a demonstration on the anniversary of the British handover of the region to China for the second year in a row due to the corona pandemic.
Traditionally, a large protest march is held on this day for various topics, for example, for more democracy and against the high prices on the housing market.
The coronavirus has been cited as a reason to ban the demonstration, but critics have long claimed that the pandemic is being used as an excuse to hold back protests. The organization has been told that the action could lead to health risks and damage to public safety, among other things. Police have warned that people who do not listen could face up to five years in prison. In previous years, the march had tens of thousands of participants.
Hong Kong was handed over to China by the British on July 1, 1997. Before that, the region was a crown colony of the United Kingdom for about 150 years. At the time of the transfer, it was agreed that a ‘one country, two systems’ principle would apply for 50 years. As a result, Hong Kongers have more freedoms than residents of mainland China.
Beijing has tightened its grip on Hong Kong in recent years. In particular, the controversial national security law, which was introduced a year ago, has had a significant impact on Hong Kong’s freedoms. One of these is the right to protest. Last year, despite the ban, thousands of people still came to the July 1 march, but that is not expected this year. The security law has made it more difficult for opponents of the central and regional government to express criticism.
The commemoration of the British handover will take place this year on the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.