Beijing, Jul 6 (EFE).- Hong Kong police detained nine people whom they accused of “making bombs in a hotel” and “planning terrorist attacks in public spaces,” authorities said Tuesday at a press conference.
The arrests, including six secondary school students, occurred Monday under the National Security Law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong, said Li Guihua, the superintendent of the body’s National Security division.
Li said the group was “organized” and had reserved a hotel room as a “laboratory for preparing explosives.”
“They wanted to use them to attack public places in Hong Kong this month,” Li said, adding that some of the detainees “planned to leave Hong Kong after carrying out the attacks.”
The legislation provides penalties of up to life imprisonment for cases such as secession, subversion, terrorism or collusion with foreign forces, and has been strongly criticized by the city’s pro-democracy movement.
John Lee, Hong Kong’s chief secretary, will lead a committee to “scrutinize” the candidates who stand in local elections scheduled for December.
The commission will decide whether candidates pose a threat to national security, in which case they will be vetoed.
Beijing imposed a change in the Hong Kong electoral system in 2021 that will complicate the opposition’s access to parliament by reducing the number of seats elected at the polls from half to a fifth.
China also said Hong Kong should be governed by “patriots,” and added this reform to the security law it adopted in 2020 after massive anti-government protests in 2019.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam was told Tuesday by Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, that they could stop offering their services in the city if new data protection regulations are approved .
According to Lam, these rules only seek to punish the practice known as “doxing”, which consists of exposing a person’s personal data online so that they are attacked or humiliated by other users.
That practice was often used during the 2019 protests in response to the Security Act. EFE