08/28/2020, 15.53
HONG KONG – CHINA
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Chinese coast guard arrests 12 pro-democracy Hong Kong activists off the coast of Guangdong

The authorities claim they were fleeing on a speedboat to Taiwan. One of them, Andy Li, was arrested on 10 August along with Jimmy Lai under the new security law. Repression in Hong Kong is getting worse. For pro-democracy activists, police are trying to alter the fact that protesters were the victims of the Yuen Long riots.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Chinese authorities today announced that the 12 people arrested earlier this week by the Chinese Coast Guard off the coast of Guangdong are all Hong Kong citizens involved in anti-government protests last year.

The people detained were travelling on speedboat, probably headed to Taiwan to seek refuge. They include Andy Li, a pro-democracy activist arrested on 10 August together with publishing magnate Jimmy Lai under China’s new security law for Hong Kong.

According to the South China Morning Post and pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po, some of the fugitives are linked to a bomb plot foiled last December. Others are accused of concealing weapons.

The Hong Kong Police liaison bureau in mainland China has asked for the return of the 12 suspects.

Since the new security legislation came into effect on 30 June, Hong Kong authorities have intensified the crackdown on dissidents.

On Wednesday, police arrested 16 people in connection with protests against the pro-Beijing Hong Kong government, including Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting.

He and 12 other people are accused of taking part in last year’s “riots" in Yuen Long, at the height of the protest movement against a proposed extradition law.

On 21 July 2019, a group of hooligans attacked anti-extradition protesters and unsuspecting passengers at the local metro rail station.

Dressed in white T-shirts (to distinguish themselves from the black ones worn by protesters), the thugs, armed with iron bars, sticks and other weapons, attacked people, injuring 50.

Protesting in the courtroom, pro-democracy lawmakers today slammed the attempt by police to alter the facts of what happened in Yuen Long.

Lam reiterated that he had arrived at the scene after violence had already broken out, stressing that he himself was a victim of assault.

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