The arrest of nine Hong Kong pro-democracy activists is the latest sign the authorities are intent on punishing dissenting voices about the future political status of the city, Amnesty International said.
The Hong Kong government should be protecting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly but instead it appears intent on intimidating people who are challenging the authorities.Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty Internaitonal Hong Kong
Police arrested the nine people involved in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement on Thursday morning. They are reported to face charges of public disorder and unlawful assembly for their involvement in a largely peaceful protest last November against a central government ruling on Hong Kong’s Basic Law.
“The repeated use of vague charges against prominent figures in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement reeks of an orchestrated and retaliatory campaign by the authorities to punish those that advocate for democracy in Hong Kong,” said Mabel Au, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.
“The Hong Kong government should be protecting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly but instead it appears intent on intimidating people who are challenging the authorities. Arrests and prosecutions aimed at shutting down participation in peaceful protests must stop.”
Those arrested on Thursday were: Avery Ng Man-yuen, Dickson Chau Ka-faat, Chan Man-wai, Sammy Ip, Lo Tak-cheong Cheng Pui-lun, Derek Lam Shun-hin, Ivan Lam Long-yin and Chow Shu-wing.
The arrests come a day after two pro-independence former legislators, who were disqualified from office, were also arrested in the morning and charged with “illegal assembly” for attempting to force their way into a meeting of the Hong Kong legislature last November.
*This article was updated on 27 April to correct the names of those arrested.