‘Grandma Wong’ released after solo Tiananmen protest

An elderly democracy activist arrested on Sunday for staging a solo demonstration over the Tiananmen Square massacre was released on Monday, with police saying she could still be charged.

Alexandra Wong – known as Grandma Wong – was stopped by police on Sunday as she marched solo towards the Liaison Office, and was arrested on suspicion of allegedly attempting to incite others to participate in an unauthorised assembly and knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly.

Police told RTHK that Wong, 65, has been “temporarily released” a day after her solo demonstration, and that she could be charged in the future.

Wong, who was a regular fixture of the huge democracy protests that swept Hong Kong in 2019, was detained on Sunday as she walked towards Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong.

Local media said the pensioner started chanting slogans in a park before heading towards the Liaison Office by herself, while being followed and filmed by police.

She was stopped twice.

“I’m only by myself, just an old lady here. Why stop me?” Wong was quoted as telling officers.

Soon afterwards she was arrested.

Activists had also sought permission for a small Tiananmen-themed march on Sunday to the Liaison Office but it was denied permission.

A vigil planned for this Friday – the 32nd anniversary of Beijing’s 1989 crackdown on democracy protests in Tiananmen Square – has also been denied permission for the second year in a row.

Authorities have cited the coronavirus, although Hong Kong is currently celebrating no local transmission cases of unknown origin for the last month. (Additional reporting by AFP)