Hong Kong activist arrested forward of deliberate Olympics protest

China has launched into a crackdown in Hong Kong following large and at instances violent pro-democracy protests, imposing a sweeping nationwide safety regulation that criminalised a lot dissent.

FILE: Hong Kong authorities. Image: AFP.

HONG KONG – A veteran Hong Kong activist was arrested for “incitement to subversion” on Friday forward of a deliberate protest in opposition to Beijing’s internet hosting of the Winter Olympics, hours earlier than the opening ceremony was as a consequence of kick off.

China has launched into a crackdown in Hong Kong following large and at instances violent pro-democracy protests, imposing a sweeping nationwide safety regulation that criminalised a lot dissent.

Wen Wei Po, a newspaper that solutions to Beijing’s Liaison Workplace in Hong Kong, mentioned Koo Sze-yiu was arrested on Friday morning by nationwide safety police.

A senior police supply confirmed to AFP that Koo had been detained for “incitement to subversion” and that 4 others had been taken in to help with their investigation.

The Hong Kong Police’s Nationwide Safety Division mentioned the 75-year-old’s arrest got here after “in-depth investigation”, and the 2 males and two girls additionally introduced in by the police had been between the ages of 59 and 76.

“Additional arrests could also be made,” the police mentioned in a press release.

The arrest comes days after Hong Kong journalists obtained a media invitation bearing Koo’s identify saying he was planning to protest on Friday exterior Beijing’s Liaison Workplace within the metropolis forward of the beginning of the Olympics.

“Many political activists and Hong Kong residents have been jailed and can’t spend Lunar New 12 months with their households due to abuses of Hong Kong’s nationwide safety regulation,” learn the invitation, dated 31 January.

“The central authorities is just involved with internet hosting the Winter Olympics to whitewash the scenario, and doesn’t care about miscarriages of justice in Hong Kong.”

Koo couldn’t be reached for remark to substantiate if he had organised a protest, which was slated to be held at 10 am on Friday.

The septuagenarian activist, who’s terminally unwell with most cancers, has been jailed a number of instances – most notably in 2013 for burning China’s flag to protest in opposition to Beijing’s remedy of dissidents on the Chinese language mainland.

Protest has been all however outlawed in Hong Kong for the reason that 2019 unrest.

The nationwide safety regulation, enacted in 2020, criminalises “secession, subversion, terrorism and overseas collusion”, and carries a most sentence of life in jail.

Hong Kong police have arrested greater than 160 folks underneath the regulation, with about 100 formally charged. Most are denied bail till trial.

The town has additionally stored strict anti-coronavirus measures that ban gatherings of greater than 4 folks for the previous two years.

The Olympics opening ceremony kicks off at 8 pm (1200 GMT).

Beijing’s internet hosting of the worldwide sporting occasion has largely been overshadowed by a Western diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights file.

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