As Britain processes hundreds of visa applications for Hong Kongers seeking to flee the territory now that Beijing has extinguished its Democratic freedoms, local police on Tuesday continued their roundup of top opposition officials after sentencing two former student activists to brief prison terms and denying bail to one of the island’s most visible media moguls.
Hong Kong police arrested eight more activists on Tuesday over an anti-government protest in July, the latest move by authorities in a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled city. Meanwhile, at least one former opposition lawmaker from Hong Kong’s LegCo – all 19 opposition lawmakers quit en masse last month – has fled to Europe and been granted asylum in the UK, a move that will likely infuriate Beijing.
Perhaps in an attempt to prevent anybody else from running off, Beijing is rounding up and arresting activists left and right. On Tuesday morning in Hong Kong, it was reported that police had arrested another 8 activities between the ages of 24 and 64. One day earlier, police arrested 8 activists said to be between the ages of 16 and 36. None of their names were released.
The latest activists were charged with participating in a skirmish with police on July 1, the anniversary of the colony’s handover to China from the UK. More than 300 people were arrested during the demonstration. Participants were protesting the new national security law, which had just been approved by top CCP leaders in Beijing and signed by President Xi.
Here’s more from Reuters:
Hong Kong police arrested eight more activists on Tuesday over an anti-government protest in July, the latest move by authorities in a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled city.
The police did not identify the people, saying only that they were aged between 24 and 64. Local media said former pro-democracy lawmaker and veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung, known as Long Hair, was among those arrested.
The move comes a day after eight people aged between 16 and 34 were arrested, including three on suspicion of violating a sweeping national security law, over a brief demonstration at a university campus last month.
Hong Kong police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse protesters on July 1, the anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to Chinese rule, as thousands demonstrated despite a police ban on the annual protest.
In an attempt to discourage Beijing from robbing Hong Kongers of their democratic feedoms and closing a long time “gateway to the West”, the Trump Administration slapped new sanctions and travel restrictions on 14 CCP officials believed to be responsible. The Trump Administration also recently stopped issuing visas longer than 1 month for any known members of the CCP trying to visit the US.
Still, Beijing is doing a pretty good job of making it clear that Hong Kong is no longer safe for those who assiduously supported the pro-democracy movement.