TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kongers living in Taiwan on Monday (Oct. 12) posted neon signs at famous landmarks in Taipei to show solidarity with 12 activists who have been imprisoned for trying to flee to Taiwan by boat.
On Monday, to mark 51 days since the detention of 12 Hong Kong activists, supporters in Hong Kong flashed lasers from the city's Lion Rock, while Hongkongers in Taiwan flashed neon signs with the words "Save 12" at Elephant Mountain and Liberty Square in Taipei. On Aug. 23, while trying to flee Hong Kong for Taiwan by speed boat, 12 Hong Kong pro-democracy activists were arrested by China's Coast Guard and are being detained in Shenzhen's Yantian district.
Two of them are suspected by Chinese authorities of organizing an illegal border crossing, while the other 10 are suspected of entering China's waters illegally. All 12 are being held in Shenzhen to await prosecution.
Throughout the 51 days, Yantian Public Security Bureau officials have refused to answer phone calls from the 12 families of Hong Kong residents, according to the Hong Kong youth group Hong Kong Outlanders (香港邊城青年). In addition, the group says that the Chinese authorities have refused to allow lawyers officially entrusted by the families to visit the activists.
China's Coast Guard on Aug. 26 announced on Weibo that on Aug. 23 it arrested a dozen persons illegally crossing its maritime border on a speedboat to the southeast of Hong Kong. On 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 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. However, in this case, the activists have been continuously held in China without bail.
Hong Kong Outlanders stated that many in Hong Kong are worried about the physical and mental health and medical conditions of the 12 young people. There are also fears that the 12 youths will be subjected to torture, forced confessions, and various inhumane treatments.
Liberty Square. (Facebook, Hong Kong Outlanders photo)
View of Taipei 101 from Elephant Mountain. (Facebook, Hong Kong Outlanders photo)