HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong police have arrested 11 folks over suspected crimes associated to helping a bunch of 12 pro-democracy activists accused of trying to flee the town by boat for Taiwan final 12 months, native media and activists reported on Thursday.
These arrested, ages 18 to 72, in keeping with native broadcaster RTHK, included eight males and three ladies.
Daniel Wong, a lawyer who tried to assist the 12 folks detained in mainland China final August, was amongst these arrested.
Wong wrote on Fb (NASDAQ:) that police arrived at his house at 6 a.m. native time.
Police advised Reuters they had been nonetheless gathering data and couldn’t make any quick remark.
Native media stated these arrested had been suspected of helping the 12 Hong Kong residents, who confronted costs associated to anti-government protests within the Chinese language-ruled metropolis in 2019, of their try to flee final 12 months.
In late December, a Chinese language court docket sentenced 10 of them to between seven months and three years in jail for illegally crossing the border, in a case that drew worldwide consideration and concern over the remedy of the activists.
Two, who had been minors on the time of arrest, have been returned to Hong Kong.
The detainees’ households stated they’d been denied entry to unbiased attorneys and aired suspicion that Hong Kong authorities helped in China’s arrests.
Self-ruled Taiwan has change into a preferred vacation spot for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists since Beijing imposed a nationwide safety legislation in June 2020, a transfer that critics say is aimed toward stamping out dissent and curbing freedoms.
Greater than 100 folks have now been arrested beneath the nationwide safety legislation.
Hong Kong returned to Chinese language rule in 1997 with the assure of freedoms not seen on the mainland, together with freedom of speech and meeting. Democracy activists complain that Communist Celebration rulers in China are whittling away at these freedoms, a cost Beijing rejects.
The US and European Union have known as for the activists to be launched and allowed to return to Hong Kong.
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