Hong Kong activists arrested over protest against Basic Law interpretation by Beijing

Demosisto said it was unable to reach Derek Lam Chun-hin (centre). Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Demosisto said it was unable to reach Derek Lam Chun-hin (centre). Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Total of nine, including two from Demosisto as well as members of League of Social Democrats and Student Fight for Democracy, rounded up

Ernest Kao Ernest Kao 

UPDATED : Thursday, 27 Apr 2017, 1:52PM

A total of nine Hong Kong activists, including members of political groups Demosisto and the League of Social Democrats, were rounded up on Thursday morning for their alleged participation in a protest over Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law last year.

According to Demosisto, police arrested the activists at their homes at about 7am on suspected charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct in a public place during a rally outside the central government’s liaison office in November over the Legislative Council oath-taking controversy.

Watch: Police disperse crowds protesting Beijing’s interpretation of the Basic Law

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The group said at least two of its members, Derek Lam Shun-hin and Ivan Lam Long-yin, had been picked up.

Demosisto chairman and legislator Nathan Law Kwun-chung said neither could be reached on Thursday morning.

Also rounded up were League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen, deputy secretary general Dickson Chau Ka-faat and member Chan Man-wai, as well as Student Fight for Democracy members Lo Tak-cheung, Sammy Ip Chi-hin and former Lingnan University student union chair Devon Cheng Pui-lun.

Many of the activists had already been arrested earlier this year and released on bail. It is understood that they are being rearrested and charged after refusing to renew their bail.

“This is the third time doorstep arrests have been made this year. The political suppression is not over yet!” Ng wrote in a Facebook post. He claimed he had been arrested on two charges of “inciting others to cause disorder in a public place”.

League of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen was one of those arrested. Photo: Dickson LeeLeague of Social Democrats chairman Avery Ng Man-yuen was one of those arrested. Photo: Dickson Lee

League of Social Democrats lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung called the move an act of “political persecution” ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong handover in July. President Xi Jinping is expected visit the city for the occasion.

“The purpose is to make those who want to come out and express their views on July 1 feel frightened,” Leung said. “It’s an obvious abuse of prosecution powers to achieve a political objective.”

Thousands took to the streets in November in opposition to the interpretation of the Basic Law by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee over the controversial oath-taking by Youngspiration duo Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang. Some demonstrators made a detour to the liaison office in Sai Wan, occupying roads and clashing with police.

Yau and Leung, the two Hong Kong independence advocates who were disqualified as lawmakers last year, were arrested on Wednesday and charged with unlawful assembly for trying to force their way into a meeting of the city’s legislature in November.

http://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/2091065/hong-kong-activists-arrested-suspected-participation-protest

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