Lawyer, others arrested under Hong Kong's new security law

16 Janvier, 2021, 03:32 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Daniel Wong was among those arrested in the sweep. — AFP  File

Police told Reuters they were still gathering information and could not make any immediate comment.

The officer confirmed those arrested were suspected of aiding 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists caught last August by Chinese coastguards as they tried to flee by boat to Taiwan.

A Hong Kong internet service provider on Thursday said it had blocked access to a pro-democracy website to comply with the city's national security law.

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday complained of "double standards" because her government, and its masters in Beijing, were criticized for ruthlessly cracking down on pro-democracy demonstrators, comparing that movement to the riot last week at the U.S. Capitol.

Willis Ho, a former student leader, confirmed her mother was among those arrested.

In late December, a Chinese court sentenced 10 of them to between seven months and three years in prison for illegally crossing the border, in a case that drew global attention and concern over the treatment of the activists.

Two teenagers were returned to Hong Kong to face charges including attempted arson and possession of offensive weapons.

Hong Kong has jailed several pro-democracy activists in recent months, including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, for their involvement in anti-government protests, and others have been charged under the national security law, including media tycoon and outspoken pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai.

The national security law mandates up to life imprisonment for any offence Beijing views as "secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces and terrorism".

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"We had rampant violence and riots undermining the safety of Hong Kong people, properties and businesses".

"We have disabled the access to the website in compliance with the requirement issued under the National Security Law".

China a year ago imposed a draconian security law in Hong Kong after widespread and sometimes violent protests that sought to preserve the territory's separate freedoms.

Hong Kong Broadband Network announced the move on Thursday.

Lam said "recent incidents" in the USA proved the Western world has "double standards" about protecting national security and preserving public order.

The website had been frequented by anti-government protesters.

More than 50 local pro-democracy figures were rounded up for alleged "subversion" over their organization or participation last July in an unofficial primary election to choose pro-democracy candidates for the now-postponed 2020 Legislative Council election.

Concerns are growing among Hong Kong citizens over the potential for increasing internet censorship similar to mainland China, where people's access to information is strictly restricted.

The new national security law includes fresh police powers to order internet providers to remove websites or content deemed to breach national security, sparking fears the "Great Firewall" might be widened to one day encompass Hong Kong.

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