The Hong Kong police have arrested more people in relation to the July 1 storming of the Legislative Council building, including an activist, an actor, and a reporter. The arrests come ahead of mass protests to mark China’s National Day on Tuesday.
Activist Ventus Lau, actor Gregory Wong and Ma Kai-chung, a reporter and show host for Passion Times – a news outlet recognised by the Hong Kong government – were arrested on Monday morning.
All three were detained on two charges, including conspiracy to criminal damage, as well as “entering or remaining in precincts of Chamber” under the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance.
On July 1, hundreds of masked anti-government protesters broke into and vandalised the legislature in an escalation of events earlier in the day which saw police use pepper spray against crowds occupying thoroughfares in Admiralty.
Lau has organised several pro-democracy rallies during the ongoing protests, whilst Wong has publicly voiced support for the movement.
Passion Time said in a statement that Ma held a press pass on July 1 inside the Legislative Council as he was covering the news.
“We condemn the police action which seriously hinders press freedom, creating white terror,” it said.
According to photos shared online, police also arrested other protesters on Monday and searched their homes after presenting search warrants.
Since June, large-scale peaceful protests against a bill that would have enabled extraditions to China have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy and alleged police brutality.
The arrests were made ahead of a banned march on Tuesday proposed by the NGO alliance, the Civil Human Rights Front. The Front appealed the ban on Monday, but it was upheld by an appeal board. Police said that the Front was unable to guarantee a peaceful march.
Jimmy Sham, convener of the Front, said that Hong Kong’s human rights situation was going backwards as the public cannot legally join a peaceful march on October 1.
“We know that civil society will have their own response to this ban,” he said. “We can only hope residents will be safe on October 1 – no bloodshed, no injuries, no arrests.”
However, pro-democracy activist Lee Cheuk-yan, a former lawmaker, has said that he will carry on and host the march on Tuesday regardless.
Meanwhile, protesters have urged each other to tuck in their shirts when they protest on October 1. The advice is in response to undercover police officers spotted at protest scenes who often carry police-issued pistols on their waist.
Posted by Stand News 立場新聞 on Sunday, 29 September 2019
On Sunday, after the identities of a group of undercover officers were discovered by protesters, an officer fired a warning shot to deter protesters.
With multi-district protests planned, the MTR announced late on Monday that Admiralty, Wan Chai and Prince Edward metro stations will not open on Tuesday. A large number of shopping malls around Hong Kong have also said they will remain closed.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.