Oppositionists have again been arrested in Hong Kong. The democracy movement speaks of at least 20 arrests, police circles even of around 50 people.
The Hong Kong police have stepped up their crackdown on the democracy movement. Dozens of opposition activists were arrested on Wednesday under the so-called security law, according to information from activists, political parties and police circles. According to the opposition, among those arrested were several pro-democracy MPs and a number of young activists.
High-ranking police said that “around 50” people had been arrested. Opposition officials confirmed at least 21 arrests, most of them for “subversion”.
According to the opposition, the arrests were linked to unofficial elections to identify candidates for parliament, which the democracy movement held in July. Beijing had denounced the primaries as an attempt at “revolution”. The Hong Kong government, loyal to Beijing, then postponed the parliamentary elections scheduled for September by a year. She cited the corona pandemic as the reason.
New security law basis for arrests
The security law passed by Beijing in June allows the authorities a draconian crackdown on all activities in Hong Kong that they believe threaten national security and massively encroaches on the autonomous rights of the Special Administrative Region. The law was passed in response to the mass pro-democracy protests of 2019. Due to the law, the authorities have arrested a number of opposition members in the past few months.
When it was handed over to China in 1997, the former British crown colony had been granted special rights for 50 years, including freedom of expression and assembly. Western states see the so-called security law as a blatant violation of the agreements of the time based on the principle of “one country, two systems”.