Thousands Join Hong Kong Vigil for Tiananmen Square Anniversary

Tens of thousands gathered Sunday in Hong Kong's Victoria Park to mark the 28th anniversary of China's crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

People hold candles during the vigil on June 4, 2017 in Hong Kong to mark the anniversary of the 1898 crackdown on pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing's Tianamen Square.

Vincent Yu / AP
On a somber night, many held aloft flickering flames, sang songs and listened to speeches calling on Beijing to fully atone for the crackdown. Bobby Yip / Reuters

Organizers of the vigil said the event drew some 110,000 people, enough to fill more than six football pitches. Hong Kong police estimated the crowd at 18,000.

Bobby Yip / Reuters

This year's events are especially politically charged, coming just a month before an expected visit of President Xi Jinping to mark 20 years since Hong Kong was handed back to China.

Jerome Favre / EPA
A woman holds her hands in prayer. Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Hong Kong, a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997, is the only place on Chinese soil where a large-scale commemoration takes place, symbolizing the financial hub's relative freedoms compared with the mainland. Tyrone Siu / Reuters
Nearly three decades after Beijing sent tanks and troops to quell the 1989 student-led protests, Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland and have yet to release an official death toll. Estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand killed. Tyrone Siu / Reuters