Hong Kong pro-democracy activist arrested again

·2-min read
Representative image
Representative image

Bangkok [Thailand], July 1 (ANI): Marking the first anniversary of draconian Beijing-imposed national security law, Hong Kong-based pro-democracy activist and human rights lawyer was arrested for the second time in less than a month, reported an American broadcaster.

Chow Hang Tung, a vice-chair for the non-profit Hong Kong Alliance, was arrested on Wednesday for inciting illegal assembly, which was scheduled to take place July 1. She was also arrested June 4 for the same charge, Voice of America reported quoting Richard Tsoi, the group's secretary-general.

Anniversaries in Hong Kong are common this time of year. June 4 marks Beijing's crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989, while July 1 marks the anniversary of Hong Kong's handover from Britain to China, 24 years ago.

July 1 also marks the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Chow was initially arrested in early June for allegedly inciting an unauthorised assembly to commemorate the Tiananmen Square crackdown. She was released on bail two days later, but according to news reports, police have now revoked her bail.

"The 36-year-old local woman surnamed Chow was charged (June 30) with a case of inciting others to knowingly and illegally participate in an unauthorized assembly. The case will appear in West Kowloon Magistracy in the afternoon of July," Hong Kong police told Voice of America via email.

Thousands usually attend an annual candlelight vigil to remember the events of 1989. But participating in unauthorised commemorations in Hong Kong today has severe consequences. Activist Joshua Wong was given 10 additional months in jail in May after pleading guilty to charges that he was involved in a 2020 vigil.

Hours before her arrest, Chow said that she would likely face jail time at some point.

"I'm already under charges for the vigil last year. I think, realistically, we'll probably be in jail by the end of this year. And if we persist in calling for democracy when that's the logical consequence, you have to expect jail," she said.

In the last two years, authorities in Hong Kong have rejected applications for demonstrations, citing the pandemic. At least three pro-democracy activist groups asked that the ban on Thursday's protest be overturned, but their appeals were rejected.

Hong Kong police have warned demonstrators against showing up Thursday and are deploying up to 10,000 officers for the day, according to local news reports. (ANI)

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