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Hong Kong protests

Hong Kong protesters defy police ban to gather for Tiananmen vigil

Memorial comes hours after pro-Beijing lawmakers pass controversial anthem law

HONG KONG -- Thousands of people in Hong Kong defied a police order and gathered peacefully Thursday to mark the 31st anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown, just hours after the city's legislature passed a contentious national anthem bill that will punish behavior disrespectful of China's national anthem.

Police had banned the annual memorial for the first time in three decades, citing health concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes amid rising concerns over a weakening of the "one country, two systems" framework that underpins the territory's autonomy and democratic freedoms.

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