Hong Kong police have arrested one person and detained 23 others amid heightened security on the 34th anniversary of a 1989 military crackdown on a student-led pro-democracy movement in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, local media reported Monday.
The 53-year-old woman was arrested Sunday for allegedly obstructing police officers after refusing to show her identity card outside Victoria Park, while the others -- 11 men and 12 women aged between 20 and 74 -- were detained on suspicion of "breaching public peace," said the reports by Hong Kong Free Press and other media.
Hundreds of police officers were deployed in the vicinity of the park, where annual vigils in remembrance of the Tiananmen Square crackdown had been held from 1990 until 2020, conducting stop-and-search operations and cautioning residents who lingered in the area, according to the reports.
Last week, Hong Kong's Chief Executive John Lee warned that the police in the territory would "take action resolutely" against lawbreakers when questioned about the legality of residents commemorating the tragedy in public.
The heavy-handed security measures have drawn criticism from human rights advocates.
On Monday, the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said on Twitter that it was alarmed by reports from Hong Kong and called for the release of "anyone detained for exercising freedom of expression and peaceful assembly."
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin defended actions taken by the Hong Kong police, saying Beijing "firmly supports" authorities of the semi-autonomous region in "performing their duties in accordance with the law and making utmost efforts to safeguard national security, prosperity and stability" in the territory.
Wang also said at a press conference in Beijing that "any attempt to smear China and interfere in China's internal affairs using this as an excuse will not succeed."