Police in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong have searched the home of detained rights activist Zhang Wuzhou after she opposed plans by Beijing to impose draconian sedition legislation on Hong Kong.
Zhang was held after she posed for photos at Guangdong’s Baiyunshan scenic area on the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, holding up a slogan that read “Withdraw the draconian law!”
She then uploaded the photos to her account on the tightly censored Chinese social media platform WeChat, her sister said.
Police officers searched her apartment in Guangdong’s Qingyuan city on Sunday, as part of an “ongoing investigation.”
“She got up early on June 4 and went to Baiyunshan in Guangzhou,” Zhang’s sister Zhang Weichu told RFA. “She held up two signs, then she came back and told me about it.”
“She said there were very few people there at the time, and that no one had tried to intervene.”
Zhang Weichu said she had confronted the police at the time of the search.
“I wanted to ask them on what basis they think that evidence for this charge of picking quarrels and stirring up trouble may be hidden in her home?” she said.
She said the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Beijing by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had always been a very sensitive topic in China.
“Things have hotted up in Hong Kong during the past two or three years, and the two things collided this year,” Zhang Weichu said. “It can’t be helped. If you want freedom for others, you have to pay a price.”
Zhang was released early last year from a jail term for “picking quarrels and stirring up trouble,” a public order charge often used to target peaceful critics of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.
That conviction was based on her filming the beating of rights lawyer Sun Shihua by Guangzhou police.
Thousands in Hong Kong defy ban
Thousands of people defied a ban in Hong Kong on Thursday to commemorate those who died in the 1989 Tiananmen massacre by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), while relatives held a low-key memorial ceremony at a Beijing cemetery.
With a draconian sedition and subversion law due to be imposed on the city by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and in spite of multiple barriers set up around Victoria Park to keep crowds out, people found their way regardless onto the multiple soccer pitches where a candlelight vigil has been held for massacre victims for the past 30 years.
The national security law for Hong Kong will target “actions and activities” deemed subversive, seditious, instigated by foreign forces, or supportive of independence.
In a move widely condemned by foreign governments and rights groups as signaling the end of Hong Kong’s autonomy and status as a separate legal jurisdiction, the law will be imposed on the city, bypassing its Legislative Council (LegCo).
Reported by Gao Feng for RFA’s Mandarin and Cantonese Services. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.