Hong Kong’s nationwide safety police on Thursday arrested 11 folks in reference to the try by 12 activists to flee the town by speedboat in August 2019, together with a distinguished human rights lawyer and pro-democracy politician.
Democratic Celebration district councilor and volunteer rights lawyer Daniel Wong stated police confirmed up at his house in Kowloon Metropolis at round 6.00 a.m.
Stay video footage of the arrest confirmed Wong shouting “Insist on democracy, insist on human rights, and the rule of regulation! Do not hand over, Hongkongers!” as he was handcuffed and escorted into an unmarked automobile with marked police vans within the background.
Wong was later taken again to his district councilor’s workplace to help police with a search at round midday.
Police confirmed that the nationwide safety division had arrested eight males and three girls aged 18-72 on suspicion of “aiding and abetting criminals.”
Wong, 72, turned distinguished as a volunteer lawyer for protesters arrested through the 2019 protest motion, and for his tireless advocacy for democracy, human rights, and the rule of regulation.
His final social media publish earlier than his arrest learn: “Contained in the partitions are the younger faces of those that have stayed in Hong Kong however misplaced their freedom. Outdoors the wall, others are exiled, strangers in an odd land, not figuring out after they can come house.”
“The darker issues get, the extra we have to hold in there!” he wrote.
Lively, day and evening
Former pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting stated Wong at all times got here out to supply authorized help to protesters at any time of the day.
“I’d name him, and he would come instantly, no matter how late it was,” Lam informed RFA. “He would normally be seen going backwards and forwards between completely different components of a police station, carrying shorts, sandals, along with his lengthy hair, and clutching a water bottle.”
Wong had additionally pushed Lam across the metropolis to help arrested protesters, Lam stated.
“A lawyer of a few years’ expertise, he was joyful to share that have with youthful attorneys, and he helped quite a lot of households, bringing them a way of calm, in addition to coping with the police,” he stated. “I used to be at all times very impressed along with his sense of justice.”
Wong was additionally lively in serving to Hongkongers launch pro-protest companies on the democratic island of Taiwan, and was a favourite goal of the ruling Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP)-backed media.
Hong Kong political commentator Sang Pu stated Wong was conscious of the hazard of arrest, however had wished to remain within the metropolis to assist others.
“Numerous folks requested him why he did not depart Hong Kong, and he at all times stated it was to assist folks,” Sang stated. “He touched lots of people.”
He stated it was laborious to see how Wong could possibly be accused of violating nationwide safety, even below the draconian regulation imposed by the CCP on Hong Kong since July 1.
“It is probably not about what he is truly achieved, although; they’re concentrating on him as an individual,” Sang stated.
Ten protesters sentenced
On Dec. 31, 2020, a courtroom within the southern Chinese language province of Guangdong handed down jail phrases of as much as three years to 10 of the 12 Hong Kong protesters detained on Aug. 23 as they tried to flee a nationwide safety crackdown within the metropolis, on fees linked to “illegally crossing a border.”
Two detainees — Liu Tsz-man and Hoang Lam-fuk — have been despatched again to Hong Kong after the authorities stated they would not pursue fees in opposition to them, as they have been below 18 on the time of their detention.
Liu, now 18, was remanded in police custody after finishing quarantine and being charged with conspiracy to commit arson for allegedly possessing uncooked supplies to make Molotov cocktails through the 2019 protest motion, authorities broadcaster RTHK reported.
Hoang additionally faces fees of “absconding” and “conspiring to help criminals,” it stated.
The arrests got here as a Hong Kong web supplier confirmed it had blocked entry to a protest-related web site following a police order, the primary confirmed takedown of a web site below the nationwide safety regulation.
“Now we have disabled the entry to the web site in compliance with the requirement issued below the Nationwide Safety Legislation,” Hong Kong Broadband Community stated in a press release.
HKChronicles, a web site devoted to publishing first-hand accounts of the Hong Kong pro-democracy motion, warned its customers final week to arrange for large-scale web blocks, filters, and censorship in future, within the first indication that China could also be exporting its Nice Firewall to the town below a draconian nationwide safety regulation that took impact on July 1.
Reported by Man Hoi Yan and Lu Xi for RFA’s Cantonese and Mandarin Providers. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.