Hong Kong police arrest four over social media posts

Clay Curtis
July 30, 2020

In a push meeting late Wednesday, law enforcement spokesman Lee Kwai-wah mentioned the organization had "posted about the institution of a new occasion that advocates Hong Kong independence on social media".

On June 30, the Trump administration revoked Hong Kong's special trading status and stopped its defense equipment exports to Hong Kong. Plainclothes officers can be seen removing several bags of what local reports said was evidence taken from the residence.

"The gross misuse of this draconian law makes clear that the aim is to silence dissent, not protect national security", she said.

China has accused New Zealand "gross interference in China's internal affairs" and "serious violation of worldwide law" after it suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

Police stated the four had actually been charged under Articles 20 and 21 of the security law, which handle secession.

Its manifesto on Twitter says one of its missions is to "establish a Hong Kong republic with independent sovereignty" and "awaken the will of Hong Kong's national independence".

Beijing is suspending Hong Kong's crime agreements with Britain, Canada and Australia, China's foreign ministry says, because they are "politicizing judicial cooperation" by halting their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

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The four arrested were former members of Student Localism, a pro-independence group that announced it was disbanding the day before the new national security law was enacted.

The police said the activists, three men and one woman whose ages range from 16 to 21, were arrested in the New Territories area of Hong Kong for the "publishing of content about secession, and inciting or abetting others for the commission of secession".

China has also said it will have jurisdiction for especially serious cases and has also claimed it can prosecute anyone anywhere in the world for national security crimes.

Previous arrests under the national security law have been made at protests over slogan shouting and flag waving. "The Chinese side has lodged its grave concern and strong opposition".

Beijing imposed new legislation on the former British colony earlier this month despite the protests of Hong Kong residents and Western nations, setting the financial hub on a more authoritarian track. The group's United States page states it is "committed to push forward Hong Kong nationals' path of regaining our right of self-determination, and push forward Hong Kong's path towards independence".

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong say the law will be used to target only a minority of "troublemakers".

Studentlocalism was disbanded on June 30, a day before the new law came into force.

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