arrest of four student activists, followed by national security legislation

Hong Kong police arrested four students linked to an independent group on Wednesday. This is one of the first arrests of public politicians in Hong Kong since the entry into force of the National Security Law, which supports China’s grip on the former British colony.

Four Hong Kong students involved in a recently disbanded independence group were arrested by police on Wednesday (July 29) under the controversial new National Security Act, the group and security forces have learned.

These are the first arrests of public politicians since the law came into force, introduced by Beijing in its semi-autonomous territory on June 30.

The four students arrested – three men and a woman aged 16 to 21 – are suspected of the police’s “organizing and inciting solution”

A commitment that is communicated on social networks

“Our sources and our investigation show that the group recently announced on social media the formation of an organization that advocates Hong Kong’s independence,” said Li Kwai-wah, an officer in the new unit. national security created within the Hong Kong police.

In a statement, “Student Localism”, an independence group that disbanded in June, said its former leader Tony Chung, 19, was among those arrested. Two other former members of the group have been identified by politicians and local media.

The national security law introduced by the Beijing Communist regime punishes “subversion, isolation, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.”

As a result, the pro-local democracy opposition fears a severe reduction in the freedoms in force in the former British colony of 7.5 million inhabitants, which was transferred to China in 1997.

Laws to “be silenced differently”, says Human Rights Watch

The recent abuses “of this draconian law make it clear that the aim is to silence disagreements, not to protect national security,” Sophie Richardson, China’s director of research at Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. requests.

Details of the new law, which bypasses the local legislative council, were withheld until it was announced. Overnight, certain views, especially those advocating independence or greater territorial autonomy, became illegal.

The first arrests that followed the issuance of the law targeted people with independent flags.

Hong Kong police made the arrests on Wednesday. However, for the first time, the new law allows Chinese security agents to intervene openly in the former British colony.

With AFP