Lawyer, some others arrested by Hong Kong nationwide stability unit

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong law enforcement on Thursday claimed they arrested 11 individuals on suspicion of aiding offenders who are considered to be the 12 Hong Kong activists detained at sea by mainland Chinese authorities while attempting to flee the city past 12 months.

District councilor and attorney Daniel Wong Kwok-tung posted on his Fb webpage early Thursday that national stability officers experienced arrived at his dwelling. He was later on taken to his office, where by police conducted a lookup.

Wong, a member of the Democratic Party, is acknowledged for furnishing legal aid to hundreds of activists arrested through antigovernment protests in 2019.

The new wave of arrests will come a week just after 55 activists were apprehended in the greatest go towards Hong Kong’s democracy motion since Beijing imposed a new national safety legislation final June to quell dissent in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

The clampdown has intensified problems that Beijing is asserting much more regulate more than the city and breaking its assure of Hong Kong preserving individual civil legal rights and political units for 50 a long time from the handover from Britain management in 1997.

Police mentioned in an emailed statement that those people arrested Thursday were eight adult men and three women of all ages aged 18 to 72. The identities of those arrested ended up not discovered.

Regional media studies explained all those arrested are suspected of supporting the 12 Hong Kong activists who ended up detained at sea by mainland Chinese authorities while making an attempt to sail to Taiwan past August. Some of the fugitives were being wished in Hong Kong for offenses similar to the 2019 protests.

Very last thirty day period, 10 of the activists detained at sea were being sentenced to prison in Shenzhen for illegally crossing the border, with sentences ranging concerning 7 months to a few many years. The two other detainees, who are minors, were being handed about to Hong Kong and could confront even further fees in the town for absconding, authorities mentioned.

Hong Kong has jailed several pro-democracy activists in current months, which includes Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, for their involvement in the anti-authorities protests. Other individuals have been billed beneath the countrywide safety legislation, including media tycoon and outspoken pro-democracy advocate Jimmy Lai.

The stability legislation criminalizes functions of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with overseas powers to intervene in the city’s affairs. Really serious offenders could facial area up to daily life imprisonment.

Last 7 days, the overseas ministers of Australia, the United States, Terrific Britain and Canada issued a joint statement expressing “serious concern” about the arrests. They said “it is distinct that the Nationwide Stability Legislation is currently being made use of to remove dissent and opposing political sights.”