Hong Kong Pro-democracy Activist Joshua Wong Arrested by Police

Published September 24th, 2020 - 10:33 GMT
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to the media while holding up a bail document after leaving Central police station in Hong Kong on September 24, 2020. (AFP/File Photo)
Pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong speaks to the media while holding up a bail document after leaving Central police station in Hong Kong on September 24, 2020. (AFP/File Photo)
Highlights
Wong was accused of participating in an 'unauthorised assembly' last October.

Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong has been arrested for allegedly participating in an unauthorised assembly last October, according to his social media post.

Mr Wong tweeted on Thursday that he was arrested when he reported to the semi-autonomous Chinese territory's Central Police Station.

He said he was also accused of violating a pre-coronavirus pandemic law banning the wearing of masks in public places on the pretext they obscure identity.

The alleged 'unauthorised assembly' was an unsanctioned demonstration on October 5, 2019, when hundreds of protesters, almost all masked, marched through the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay.

It came a day after the city's leader Carrie Lam banned masks at demonstrations by invoking colonial-era emergency powers not used for half a century. 

Hong Kong police confirmed they arrested two men, aged 23 and 74, on Thursday for the illegal assembly last year.

The arrest of Wong, aged 23, comes around 6 weeks after media tycoon Jimmy Lai was detained on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces.

Wong's latest arrest adds to several unlawful assembly charges or suspected offences he and other activists are facing related to last year's pro-democracy protests, which prompted Beijing to impose a sweeping national security law on June 30. 

He is expected to leave the police station and address journalists later on Thursday.

The alleged 'unauthorised assembly' was an unsanctioned demonstration on October 5, 2019, when hundreds of protesters, almost all masked, marched through the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay.

It came a day after the city's leader Carrie Lam banned masks at demonstrations by invoking colonial-era emergency powers not used for half a century. 

Hong Kong police confirmed they arrested two men, aged 23 and 74, on Thursday for the illegal assembly last year.

The arrest of Wong, aged 23, comes around 6 weeks after media tycoon Jimmy Lai was detained on suspicion of colluding with foreign forces.

Wong's latest arrest adds to several unlawful assembly charges or suspected offences he and other activists are facing related to last year's pro-democracy protests, which prompted Beijing to impose a sweeping national security law on June 30. 


Wong rose to prominence as a student leader during the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests for universal suffrage.

He is among a growing number of activists being charged for various relatively minor offences since Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law that has severely restricted political speech in the territory.

The 23-year-old played a low-key role in mostly leaderless and sometimes violent anti-government protests last year that led to Beijing imposing the security law.

Wong's lawyer told AFP he was arrested when he reported to a police station concerning another case against him, for which he is currently on trial.

'Wong is accused of participating in an unlawful assembly on October 5 last year, when hundreds marched to oppose an anti-mask ban the government rolled out,' lawyer Jonathan Man said.

The march that day came after much of the city had ground to a halt with the subway suspended and many shops and malls shuttered following a night of violence. 

The act of resistance was followed by a night of widespread chaos as hardcore protesters trashed dozens of subway stations, vandalised shops with mainland China ties, built fires and blocked roads. 

Many chanted 'No rioters, only tyranny' and other popular protest slogans.

At the time of the march, Hong Kong had already been battered by four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests.

Wong disbanded his pro-democracy group Demosisto in June, just hours after China's parliament passed national security law for Hong Kong, bypassing the city's local legislature, a move widely criticised by Western governments.

His long-time colleague, Agnes Chow, and two other activists were also among 10 people police arrested in August on suspicion of violating the new law.

The new law punishes anything China considers as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, with up to life in prison. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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