More than 50 pro-democracy politicians and campaigners have been arrested in the early hours of the morning Hong Kong, In an unprecedented crackdown on opposition in the region by the authorities.
Activists are said to have been arrested under National Security Act They seized the primary on the charges and “dismantled state power” claiming to want to win a majority of seats in the Hong Kong election.
Widespread arrests on Wednesday morning came without warning, shocking the audience. It was the largest single arrest by a person under the National Security Act (NSL), and it appeared to be related to a single event: the holding of democratic votes.
Political parties involved in the arrests said the police action appeared to be linked to unofficial primaries held by Pan-Democrats ahead of last year’s Hong Kong election. The campaigners were targeting 35 seats – a majority in the legislature. Hong Kong President Gary Lam has postponed elections for a year due to an epidemic.
Dr. Kwok Ka Ki, one of the four legislators disqualified in November, was detained on Wednesday morning for “arresting him for treason for participating in Democracy 35+.”
The Facebook page of jailed activist Joshua Wong was raided at his home on Wednesday morning.
Among those arrested were former legislators Helena Wong, Lam Seok-ding, Soo Hoi-dik, and Leung Kwok-hung, co-organizers of the election. Legal scholar Penny Tai And pollster Robert Chung, Whose office was searched A few days ago.
Maya Wang, senior China A researcher at Human Rights Watch said the mass arrests had “removed the rest of democracy in the city.”
“Beijing has again failed to learn from the mistakes made in Hong Kong: that repression is creating opposition, and millions of Hong Kong people will continue to fight for their right to vote and run for office in a democratically elected government.”
The UK-based Hong Kong Watch has accused Beijing of “once again undermining Hong Kong’s democracy and violating its obligations under the Sino-British joint declaration”.
“The international community must respond with Magnitsky sanctions and other punitive measures to prove that the offensive against democracy has consequences.”
In the first instance, the Hong Kong government claimed that there had been complaints of “interference” in the referendum and that government bills had promised to win a majority of seats in order to block candidates and campaigners. NSL
The primary vote, though not a formal part of Hong Kong’s electoral process, saw 600,000 people expelled to vote for Democratic candidates, which was seen as a litmus test and response to the public response to government repression.
But high representatives of Beijing Hong Kong The first was labeled “illegal” and the organizers accused Hong Kong’s electoral system of colluding with foreign powers in “serious provocation.”
“The goal of organizer Penny Tai and the opposition camp is to seize power in Hong Kong and … … carry out a Hong Kong version of the ‘color revolution’,” a spokesman for the liaison office said. Responsible for enforcing national security laws.
After the polls closed, Tai predicted that pro-democracy candidates would win 45 seats, but he was wary of backlash from those in power.
“Everyone has to be mentally prepared.”
The law, drafted by Beijing, was enacted in June last year and has been accused of separatism, subjugation, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers. As of Wednesday, about 35 people had been arrested under the law and four others, including journalist Jimmy Loy, had been charged. Prosecutors have struggled to ensure no one is released on bail, suggesting that anyone charged in Wednesday’s trial will be detained.
There are a lot to come.