NewsHong Kong: Four democracy movement leaders arrested

Hong Kong: Four democracy movement leaders arrested

The Hong Kong authorities are taking massive action against critics with the controversial security law. Four prominent activists behind the annual memorial for the victims of the 1989 massacre in China are arrested.

Hong Kong – Four leading activists have again been arrested in the law enforcement campaign against the democratic opposition in Hong Kong. The arrests were based on the controversial new security law.

The Hong Kong Alliance in Support of the Patriotic Democratic Movements in China announced that the State Security Police picked up vice chairwoman and lawyer Chow Hang-tung and board members Leung Kam-wai, Tang Ngok-kwan and Chan Dor-wai.

The group previously hosted the annual Hong Kong events to commemorate the victims of the bloody crackdown on democracy movement in China on June 4, 1989. Hundreds of thousands attended their candle devotions on the anniversary of the massacre. On Tuesday, the day before the arrest, the four leading members of the alliance refused to cooperate with the authorities in investigations based on the security law and to disclose confidential data. The group is suspected of “conspiracy with foreign forces”.

In a letter to the Hong Kong police chief, Allianz denied the allegation of being a “foreign agent”. From their point of view, there is no legal basis for the request to provide the requested information. These are data and financial records related to the association’s cooperation with other pro-democratic groups.

Since the authorities of the Chinese Special Administrative Region have massively curtailed the space for opposition activities with the security law, the alliance, like many other civilian organizations, has already been forced to disband after 32 years. An extraordinary general assembly of its members should formalize the move this month.

International criticism of the security law

After the ongoing demonstrations and calls for more democracy in Hong Kong, the communist leadership in Beijing passed the security law in summer 2020, which also met with sharp criticism internationally. It targets the pro-democratic opposition and is vaguely directed against activities that Beijing sees as subversive, separatist, terrorist or conspiratorial.

Since then, the law has served the Hong Kong authorities to take action against the democracy movement. Dozens of activists have already been arrested or awaiting trial. Some have already been convicted. Many opposition members have fled abroad for fear of prosecution. Ordinary citizens are also leaving the Asian economic and financial metropolis: In the twelve months since the security law was passed, Hong Kong’s population has already shrunk by 90,000.

Since July 1, 1997, the former British crown colony of Hong Kong has belonged to China again and is governed autonomously as a special administrative region. Actually, the seven million Hong Kong residents should enjoy “a high degree of autonomy” and many more political freedoms by 2047. However, critics believe that the Beijing Security Act has replaced the long-standing principle of “one country, two systems” with “one country, one system”. dpa

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