Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested over banned rally

01 Mars, 2020, 06:05 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Jimmy Lai leaves a police station after being bailed

Friday's arrests are a "shameless try to harass and silence all those in Hong Kong's professional-democracy motion", the director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, Gentleman-Kei Tam, claimed in a assertion.

At the same time, two other pro-democracy politicians, Lee Chuk Yan and Yeung Sum, have also been arrested by the police on the same charge of joining an illegal assembly. The offence is punishable by three years in prison on summary conviction.

Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai was arrested at his home on Feb 28 morning. The three will appear in court May 5, and if convicted could face up to five years imprisonment.

Organizers known as off the march right after law enforcement banned it, but hundreds of hundreds of folks defied the buy and crammed the streets in a number of locations of the Asian financial hub. Jimmy, an outspoken critic of Beijing, was arrested along with two other pro-democracy activists on charges of the illegal assembly during the protests, and for intimidating a reporter at an event years ago, South China Morning Post reported. "They require to be processed rapidly and out of that police headquarters as rapidly as possible".

Lai was also charged with intimidation in relation to an incident on June 4, 2017, in which he reportedly cursed at a reporter who works for the pro-Beijing Oriental Daily during a prayer rally commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square Incident.

It added that Yeung's arrest is an act of "revenge" by Hong Kong authorities.

Many people blamed Hong Kong's prolonged unrest on the incitement by Lai and the forces behind him, urging the court to strictly punish the criminals in accordance with the law and to bring Hong Kong back on track with the help of the rule of law.

"This decision will send yet another signal to the world that the Chinese Communist Party is intent on throttling decency and freedom in Hong Kong.", Patten said.

Lee Cheuk-yan
Vice chairman of Hong Kong’s Labour Party Lee Cheuk-yan

Hong Kong was rocked by huge and sometimes violent street protests a year ago.

Human rights groups have protested against the detentions.

The unexpected, high-profile arrests, which took place at the activists' homes, were made as Hong Kong, already rocked by months of protests past year, battled to contain the coronavirus outbreak, which has fuelled panic and further distrust of the authorities.

Washington-based nonprofit Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) issued a press release criticizing both Lam's Hong Kong government and the CCP.

The rallies and clashes have since died down, partly due to exhaustion and arrests but also because of the emergence of the deadly new coronavirus.

China has worked relentlessly to vilify Lai, who has provided a powerful, wide-reaching platform to the mostly young and leaderless protesters in Hong Kong.

They soon morphed into a wider movement calling for greater freedoms in what is the most concerted challenge to Beijing's rule since the former British colony's 1997 handover.

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