Hong Kong arrests leading pro-democracy figures


Hong Kong police arrested 15 leading pro-democracy figures on April 18, in connection with allegedly “organizing and participating in unlawful assemblies”¬†last year. Among those arrested were two former chairs of the Democratic Party, Martin Lee and Albert Ho, former¬†Democratic Party councilors Yeung Sum and Sin Chung-kai, and sitting district councilor¬†Richard Tsoi; forner¬†Labour Party¬†councilors¬†Lee Cheuk-yan¬†and¬†Cyd Ho; sitting council member¬†Leung Yiu-chung¬†of the¬†Neighbourhood & Worker’s Service Centre; two leaders¬†of the Civil Human Rights Front,¬†Au Nok-hin and Figo Chan; three leaders of the¬†League of Social Democrats, Raphael Wong,¬†Leung Kwok-hung¬†and¬†Avery Ng; Civic Party¬†leader¬†Margaret Ng;¬†and pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai.

The arrests are apparently related to demonstrations on Aug.¬†18 and Oct.¬†1, 2019. During the¬†August protest, demonstrators occupied main roads following a large-scale assembly at Causeway Bay’s Victoria Park. During China’s National Day on Oct.¬†1, the police declared demonstrations to be¬†“riots,” making the organizers subject to criminal charges.¬†The incidents came amid months of “leaderless”¬†demonstrations against a now-withdrawn¬†extradition bill.

Following the arrests, activists¬†gathered outside Cheung Sha Wan police station¬†to protest. Police on the scene warned the crowd that they may be in violation of the Prevention & Control of Disease ordinance, which bans public gatherings of more than four people. The group chanted protest slogans such as “Hongkongers resist!” and¬†“Five demands, not one less”‚ÄĒa reference to the five demands of last year’s protest movement. (HKFP)