The vice-chairman of the People Power group, Tam Tak-chi, on Sunday said he'd been arrested by police after national security officers searched his home in the morning.
Police said they arrested a 47-year-old man on suspicion of uttering seditious words. He's accused of inciting hatred and contempt against the government at street booths across Hong Kong between June and August.
Senior Superintendent Steve Li of the police's national security department says they initially considered using the national security law to arrest him, but changed their mind after consulting the Department of Justice.
"In article 3 of the national security law, we not only can use the national security law to deal with this kind of endangering national security activities, but also we can use another part of the law. And after discussing with the Department of Justice, the most appropriate legislation and offence to deal with this kind of activities is seditious intent, so we arrested him in this offence," Li said.
Government critics slammed the arrest.
Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said Tam's arrest has a chilling effect on dissent. He also said it undermined freedom of expression.
"It is a blatant violation of the basic human rights stipulated and guaranteed by the Basic Law of Hong Kong."
Last updated: 2020-09-06 HKT 15:10