• Directory of Taiwan

Hong Kong cracks down on pro-democracy leaders

Up to 30 people have been arrested since National Security Law imposed late June

Hong Kong police at Legco during pro-democracy protests earlier this year.

Hong Kong police at Legco during pro-democracy protests earlier this year. (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Dawn raids by police in Hong Kong saw seven pro-democracy leaders, including five lawmakers, arrested on Sunday (Nov. 1).

The police sweep was said to be in response to a “chaotic” Legislative Council meeting on May 8 that saw fighting in the council chambers. A police statement said the individuals were charged with flouting “contempt and interference” rules.

Three lawmakers — Wu Chi-wai (胡志偉), Andrew Wan Siu-kin (尹兆堅), and Helena Wong Pik-wan (黃碧雲) — were arrested at their homes, according to South China Morning Post. Meanwhile, social media reports said former legislators Eddie Chu Hoi-dick (朱凱廸) and Raymond Chan Chi-chuen (陳誌全) were seized.

Labour Party Chairman Kwok Wing-kin (郭永健) turned himself in to police after being requested to do so. A lawmaker from the same party, Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung (張超雄), was also said to have been arrested.

Beijing is clamping down on dissent, having introduced a sweeping National Security Law that punishes what it calls terrorism, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces to promote independence. Those charged under the law face life sentences.

Reuters reported that police have arrested about 30 people over the past few months using the new law. It added critics believe Beijing is using the new law to erode judicial independence in the former city-state.