June 4th Museum Commemorating Tiananmen Square Massacre Victims Raided by Hong Kong Police

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HONG KONG - APRIL 26: A visitor attends the opening day of the June 4th Museum on April 26, 2014 in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. The world's first museum dedicated to the June 4 Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989 opened in a commercial building. (Image: Lam Yik Fei/Getty Images)

On Thursday, Aug. 9 Hong Kong police raided the premises of the now closed June 4th Museum that was opened to commemorate the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

The reasoning surrounding the raid remains unclear however, “officers were seen loading a truck with cardboard [from the museum], including one with the museum’s logo and another carrying a picture of a lit candle,” The Epoch Times reported. 

The museum was closed on June 2 due to an investigation by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department into its licensing but was later reopened online as the “8964 Museum.” 

Operators of the museum were accused of violating the “Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance” by operating without a license. 

The museum was originally organized and operated by the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China (The Alliance), and first opened on April 26, 2014 shortly before the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. 

Originally it was located in a small commercial space in Tsim Sha Tsui, an urban area in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong but was later closed due to numerous complaints by the building owners with regards to “breaches of the mutual covenant of the building.” 

Following its closure it reopened again on April 26, 2019 when a new location was found in Mong Kok. 

The Alliance purchased a premises in Mong Kok in December 2018 in a deal that reportedly was worth upwards of HK$1 million that included renovating the space to house the museum on a permanent basis. 

Prior to opening, the museum was vandalized which forced The Alliance to increase security on the premises.  

Sustained pressure

This most recent raid immediately followed the arrest of four pro-democracy leaders of The Alliance on Wednesday Sept. 8. 

Vice chairwoman of The Alliance, Chow Hang-tung as well as standing committee members Leung Kam-wai, Tang Ngok-kwan and Chan Dor-wai were taken into custody with authorities alleging that the group was working as a “foreign agent.”

Last month, Hong Kong police sent a letter to the group, citing the contentious national security law that was introduced by Beijing last year, requesting that the group hand over its membership and financial information no later than Sept. 7.

The group declined the request in writing and on the morning of Sept. 8 police attended Chow’s work place — located in the Bank of America Tower in Hong Kong — to arrest her and several other standing committee members including Leung, Tang and Chan.

The Alliance, that’s membership is reported to include 100 people, will be meeting on Sept. 25 to discuss whether or not to disband the group in the face of increased hostilities by Hong Kong authorities.