Hong Kong rounds up dozen of prominent democracy activists

List of detainees includes Next Media founder Jimmy Lai and former lawmaker Martin Lee

  4169
Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is arrested on Saturday (April 18).  

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai is arrested on Saturday (April 18).   (AP photo)

23:00 Update:

Next Magazine and Apple Daily founder Jimmy Lai has been released on bail.

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong police on Saturday (April 18) morning rounded up about a dozen prominent democracy activists, including media tycoon Jimmy Lai (黎智英) and veteran politician Martin Lee (李柱銘).

The arrests were believed to be connected with protests last August and October against the planned extradition bill, which was abandoned amid months of action over the fear of Chinese interference in the territory. The activists were suspected of organizing banned demonstrations, CNA reported.

Police showed up Saturday morning outside the residence of Next Magazine and Apple Daily founder Lai, but he was not at home, media reports said. He had earlier been charged for taking part in an unauthorized assembly on Aug. 31. It was not immediately clear how he had been found later on.

The Democratic Party saw a link between comments made last week by Chinese officials in the territory about “national security issues” and Saturday’s raids, the South China Morning Post reported.

The newspaper named the 14 detainees as Lai, former lawmakers Lee, Albert Ho, Lee Cheuk-yan, Leung Kwok-hung, popularly known as “Long Hair,” Au Nok-hin, Yeung Sum, Cyd Ho and Sin Chung Kai, as well as activists Avery Ng, Figo Chan and Raphael Wong.