The European Union on Sunday called for the release of 47 pro-democracy campaigners who've been detained on a a charge of conspiracy to commit subversion under the National Security Law.
Meanwhile British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the case as "deeply disturbing" and proof that Beijing was using the new law to eliminate dissent.
Police said earlier on Sunday that the 47 people would be detained overnight and would be brought to West Kowloon court for mention after 11am on Monday.
The pro-democracy politicians and activists – who were arrested last month – are among 55 arrested on suspicion of "subverting state power" for their involvement in primary elections last July – that were intended to choose candidates for Legco polls that never took place.
In a statement, the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macau expressed "great concern" at the charges, and called for the immediate release of those arrested.
"The nature of these charges makes clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong," it said
"The EU urges Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to abide by their commitments to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, as enshrined in the Basic Law and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," it added.
In a tweet, Raab wrote: "The decision to charge 47 Hong Kong politicians & activists for subversion under the NSL is deeply disturbing. It shows in the starkest terms the NSL being used to eliminate political dissent rather than restore order – contrary to what the Chinese Government promised."
Last updated: 2021-03-01 HKT 00:49
EU, Britain decry security law charges
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