TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Twelve Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, including at least one member of a well-known advocacy group, were arrested by Chinese authorities at sea as they tried to escape to Taiwan on Sunday (Aug. 23).
China's Coast Guard on Wednesday (Aug. 26) announced on Weibo that on Sunday (Aug. 23) it arrested a dozen persons illegally crossing its maritime border on a speedboat to the southeast of Hong Kong. On Thursday (Aug. 27), Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported that the 12 people aboard were pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong and included advocacy group member Andy Li (李宇軒) of "Hong Kong Story."
Li was recently arrested on Aug. 10 on suspicion of "colluding with foreign countries or endangering national security by foreign forces" in violation of Hong Kong's draconian new National Security Law, reported hk01. The other persons arrested onboard had also taken part in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and some had previously been arrested and released on bail, according to RFA.
The article stated that the Hong Kong activists are currently being detained by the Chinese Coast Guard and police are still investigating the case. According to the Criminal Law of China, prosecutors can charge them with illegal immigration, and if they are convicted, they could face up to one year in prison before being deported to Hong Kong.
[Unverified] According to China Coast Guard's Weibo, 10+ people were arrested in Chinese waters on a speedboat, near SE side of Guangdong (21°54'00''N，114°53'00''E).— W. B. Yeats (@WBYeats1865) August 26, 2020
Info from Telegram group suggested they were Hong Kongers who were trying to flee #HongKong to #Taiwan. pic.twitter.com/kvtzXc1FBV