A wave of arrests targeting prominent supporters of the ongoing anti-extradition protests continued into Friday night with the detention of two more pro-democracy councillors in relation to the demonstrations.
Social media posts on Friday night said Au Nok-hin said he was arrested at around 10pm in Kwun Tong for allegedly assaulting and obstructing police during a protest on July 8. Civic Party lawmaker Jeremy Tam, meanwhile, was arrested for obstructing police.
Police later confirmed the arrests.
Earlier in the day, Civic Passion legislator Cheng Chung-tai was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit criminal damage during the storming of Legco on July 1.
Besides the three lawmakers, other high-profile figures including Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow of Demosisto were also detained on Friday, along with Sha Tin district councillor Rick Hui, and former University of Hong Kong student union president Althea Suen.
Chan Ho-tin, the former leader of a banned pro-independence group, was taken into custody on Thursday night as he was about to board a flight.
The pan-democratic camp issued a statement condemning what they described as the ‘unjustified’ arrests, saying the aim is to spread ‘white terror’ to deter people from protesting.
They demanded the police stop such arrests and urged the Chief Executive Carrie Lam not to “push Hong Kong off the rails” of a civilised society.
Police have denied any links between the flurry of arrests and a mass rally that had been planned for Saturday but was ultimately cancelled because the force refused to approve it.
The Civil Human Rights Front had hoped to stage a mass rally from Chater Garden to the liaison office, to mark the fifth anniversary of the announcement by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of a conservative political reform framework for Hong Kong which would have given a pro-Beijing committee the power to screen out candidates for chief executive.
Critics say the decision dashed the hopes of those who want 'genuine' universal suffrage, and sparked the 2014 Occupy Movement.
Genuine democracy has also been one of the five core demands of the ongoing Hong Kong protests, which have rocked the city for almost three months. The demonstrations – which started off as a targeted protest against government plans to allow the transfer of fugitives to the mainland and elsewhere – quickly morphed into broader calls for ‘dual’ universal suffrage – for both the chief executive, and all of Legco.
Last updated: 2019-08-31 HKT 00:54
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