Hong Kong, Sep 24 (eefe-epa).- Hong Kong Police on Thursday arrested and subsequently released pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong, former secretary-general of the dissolved Demosisto party, who is accused of participating in an “illegal” gathering in October last year.
Wong, 23, is due to appear in a Hong Kong court on Sep. 30, activist confirmed on social media after his brief stay at the police station.
The activist explained that he has also been accused of violating the so-called “anti-mask” law, which prohibited demonstrators from covering their faces during protests that affected the former British colony in 2019.
“Nothing to celebrate on bizarrely prompt release. Case will be mentioned Eastern Magistrates Court on 30 Sep 2:30pm,” Wong tweeted.
“Facing max. The penalty of 5yrs in jail for unauthorized assembly and 1yr for wearing a mask, I’m not deterred whenever I think of fellow protesters who are struggling in detention in HK or in Mainland China,” he added.
Wong’s representative, Tiffany Yuen, confirmed to EFE that his arrest was not related to Beijing’s security law for Hong Kong that was passed earlier this year.
The police have also confirmed the arrest of two other men, aged 23 and 74, accused of having knowingly participated in what has been termed as an unauthorized demonstration.
In July, the local government rejected a dozen pro-democracy candidates in the legislative council elections on grounds alleging that they had not protected the Basic Law (the Hong Kong constitution) and had not sworn loyalty to Hong Kong and Beijing.
One of them was Wong, one of the most voted candidates in the unofficial primaries in which the pro-democracy coalition secured the support of more than 600,000 voters.
In August, the Hong Kong police arrested activist Agnes Chow, known to be very close to Wong, on charges of conspiring with foreign forces to jeopardize national security – one of the crimes under China’s new national security law passed by the National People’s Congress.
There were a total of nine people arrested on that occasion, who were all subsequently released on bail.
The Legislative Council elections is the most important one in Hong Kong, given that the head of government is not elected by direct suffrage despite it being one of the main demands of the pro-democracy activists. EFE-EPA