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Independence activists complain of harassment

2019-01-01 HKT 17:43
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  • Independence activists complain of harassment
Activists calling for Hong Kong to break away from China complained they had been harassed over the New Year, with a burglary at one group's office and others reporting they had been followed.

Around 30 independence advocates joined Tuesday's January 1 march from Causeway Bay.

After the government warned that calls for independence would not be allowed in Civic Square – the end point for the march – most of the activists instead disbanded near Admiralty Centre.

But around 10 did try to enter the forecourt, leading to scuffles with security guards. At least two people ended up on the ground during the chaotic scenes and one demonstrator complained he had suffered injuries to his forehead and thigh.

Disqualified lawmaker Sixtus Leung, spokesman for the pro-independence Hong Kong National Front, said his group did not continue to Civic Square because it didn't want to provoke any clashes with police or security guards.

He said members of his group also wanted to distinguish themselves from the march organisers, the Civil Human Rights Front, and they believe it is more realistic for Hong Kong to strive for independence than genuine universal suffrage.

Leung also revealed that his group's office in Tsuen Wan had been broken into on New Year's Eve. He said only flags were taken and nothing valuable.

He also claimed that some independence activists had been tailed this week by men they suspected had triad links.

Leung said a complaint had been filed to the police.

He also told reporters that he would continue to advocate the idea of the city breaking away from the mainland as long as he still has his freedom.

"Some day, maybe we cannot do any more, just like in Tibet, just like in different places in China ... [people] will be put in concentration camps if they have a different opinion from the government," Leung said.