June 4 vigil to be held online – Organisers

The vigil in Macau in memory of the Tiananmen crackdown will be held indoors and broadcast online after a police ban on the event was upheld by the Court of Final Appeal (TUI), the organisers indicated.

The announcement was made by legislators Au Kam San and Ng Kuok Cheong, organizers of the usual annual vigil at Senate Square.

On his Facebook page, Ng appealed to Macau residents to light a white candle and share it on social media and asked for parents to show videos and information to their children about the events of June 4, 1989 and to explain the historical context and impact for future generations.

Macau police last week banned the commemoration, on June 4, in Praça do Leal Senado, due to the risk of violations of the Penal Code, more precisely Article 181 on “offense against a legal person exercising public authority” , article 177 on “publicity and slander” and, finally, article 298 on “incitement to violently alter the established system”.

In a decision issued yesterday TUI has rejected an appeal by the Macau Union of Democratic Development to hold the June 4 vigil, citing ‘offensive fighting words’ against the Chinese central government and pandemic prevention considerations.

Following the court decision, a statement was issued by the Macau government indicating that it “respects and backs” the TUI decision and asking for members of the public should recognise that such activity is “illegal and endangers national security”.

At the same time the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the Office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in the Macao Special Administrative Region, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Macao SAR all issued their respective statement to show support.

Last year, in Macau and Hong Kong, authorities for the first time in 30 years banned the holding of the event in public spaces, a decision then justified by Covid-19’s prevention efforts.

On the night of June 4, Macau authorities mounted an operation and ended up detaining two people, the daughters of Au Kam San, with agents seizing two candles and a book about Tiananmen.

The Public Prosecutions Office (MP) later filed the case against Cherry and Christy Au who were being investigated for illegal assembly.