HK's June 4th museum closes over licensing probe

Hong Kong's June 4th Museum closed its doors on Wednesday.

The space is dedicated to commemorating the victims of China's 1989 crackdown in Square.

The museum that once displayed artefacts donated by family members of deceased students, archive photos and video footage from Tiananmen Square are now behind closed doors.

The museum said officials had entered its premises on Tuesday, claiming it had not obtained a public entertainment venue license and was potentially in breach of regulations.

The museum said it would seek legal advice and made the decision to temporarily close.

It was opened a decade ago by activists from the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China the same group that organizes the city's annual Tiananmen vigil.

Alliance member Mak Hoi-Wah, said the decision to shut was devastating:

"For the past 32 years, during the existence of the Hong Kong Alliance, we did doing nothing illegal to harm the country or Hong Kong. And we have been getting legal approval for our processions as well as the assemblies, candle light vigils, on June 4th - every year. Until last year."

In a statement the museum said:"Facing the current difficult political situation, the Alliance deeply believes that Hong Kongers will not forget June 4."

The inspection raises concerns over freedom of speech in Hong Kong, which traditionally holds the largest June 4 vigil in the world to commemorate the crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Mainland China bans commemorations and heavily censors the topic and now there are fears that vigils will not be allowed any more in Hong Kong.

Police have banned the vigil two years in a row, citing coronavirus restrictions.

But museum organisers, hope people won't forget this moment in history.