Hong Kong: Joshua Wong arrest for wearing a mask highlights escalating crackdown on dissent

Following the arrest of opposition activists Joshua Wong and Koo Sze-yiu for taking part in last October’s ‘unauthorized’ protest against Hong Kong’s anti-mask law, Amnesty International Hong Kong’s Programme Manager Lam Cho Ming said:

“The arrest of one of Hong Kong’s most prominent opposition figures for wearing a face mask at an ‘unauthorized’ protest – at a time when wearing a face mask is compulsory in the city – is yet another example of the government’s campaign to silence dissent by any means.

“Today’s targeting of activists once again highlights the authorities’ escalating crackdown on critical voices, which is having a chilling effect on the freedom of peaceful assembly in Hong Kong.

“The mask ban violates international law and must be withdrawn, rather than used by the Hong Kong authorities as a pretext for arresting opponents.”

BackgroundJoshua Wong and fellow activist Koo Sze-yiu were arrested today for taking part in the “unauthorized” protest against Hong Kong’s anti-mask law on 5 October 2019. Wong was also charged with violating the anti-mask law, before being released.

The mask ban was introduced last year using the colonial-era Emergency Regulations Ordinance (ERO) law. The ban remains in place for assemblies that are not authorized by the authorities.