Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong arrested


Hong Kong: Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has been arrested for participating in an “unauthorised” assembly in October last year.

According to a tweet posted on 23-year-old Wong’s account, the activist has been accused by police of breaching the anti-mask law, which bars people from covering their faces during demonstrations.

“Joshua is arrested when reporting to Central Police Station at about 1 pm today. The arrest is related to participating in an unauthorised assembly on October 5 last year. He is told to have violated the draconian anti-mask law as well,” the tweet read.

Veteran social activist Koo Sze-yiu was also held in connection with the protest, which took place on October 5. He has been taken to Cheung Sha Wan Police Station, South China Morning Post reported.

The arrests come months after media tycoon Jimmy Lai was arrested under the draconian national security law, which was imposed by China in July. Several activists and political leaders have been detained or arrested under the controversial legislation, which has been widely condemned by several countries including the United States.

In June, Wong’s Demosisto party was disbanded after China’s Parliament passed the national security law, which criminalises secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers. People convicted of such crimes can face sentences of up to life in prison.

Police said they confirmed the arrests of two men, aged 23 and 74, and said they were accused of “knowingly taking part in an unauthorised assembly”.
They also said the October protest was not an authorised event as allowed under the Public Order Ordinance. The two men are expected to appear at Eastern Court on September 30.

On October 5 last year, Hong Kong had enforced the mask ban after invoking the Emergency Regulations Ordinance in a bid to restore law and order after months of anti-government demonstrations, according to South China Morning Post.

In November last year, the High Court, in a ruling, had declared the anti-mask law unconstitutional.

Hong Kong has been rocked by protests since last year over a now-withdrawn extradition bill, which was proposed by its leader Carrie Lam, but the movement has morphed into wider demands, including universal suffrage and greater democratic rights. (ANI)