Conflicts & War

Prominent Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow arrested

Hong Kong, Aug 11 (efe-epa).- The Hong Kong police have arrested prominent pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow, one of the former leaders of the dissolved Demosisto party, according to a post on her Facebook page Tuesday.

Chow, 23, was among some 10 people arrested on Monday, including media mogul Jimmy Lai and several executives of Next Digital, which publishes Apple Daily, known for its critical stance of Beijing and the offices of which were also raided.

According to her Facebook page, Chow was arrested at around 9 pm on Monday on the charge of “colluding with foreign forces,” one of the crimes under China’s new national security law recently passed by the National People’s Congress.

“According to the police, Agnes was accused of calling upon foreign countries to impose sanctions on China on her social media accounts since the enactment of the law,” said the post.

Chow, along with Joshua Wong and Nathan Law – who fled Hong Kong on July 2 – founded Demosisto in 2016, a party that was dissolved hours after the national security law came into force on June 30.

Law also confirmed Chow’s arrest in a message on Twitter.

“Agnes Chow is arrested under National Security Law and we are still acquiring information about the content of the arrests. Horrible day,” he wrote.

After the arrests, Wong said in a video on Facebook that Chow was being held “even though she had quit Demosisto and her Twitter account had stopped operating before the enactment of the law. Clearly, it proves that the national security law is retrospective.”

“Now is the most urgent situation in Hong Kong. I hope that it’s not the last video before I am arrested in the upcoming future,” he added.

Lai, who is highly critical of Beijing, was also arrested on Monday under the new security law.

The police also conducted a three-hour raid of the offices of Apple Daily, a newspaper founded by Lai, and arrested at least eight other people including his two sons and several executives of the leading media group.

The police said in a statement that they had “arrested nine men and a woman, aged between 23 and 72, in various districts.”

“They were suspected in collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security (…) and conspiracy to defraud,” they added. “All arrestees are being detained for further inquiries. Investigation is underway and further arrests may be made.”

These arrests come days after the United States announced sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials, including the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, for their involvement in enacting the national security law, which, according to Washington, undermines the city’s autonomy.

Beijing responded with similar sanctions on Monday.

Both before and after the law took effect, it was believed that Lai would be among the first targets.

Despite that, the tycoon – who has a British passport – decided to remain Hong Kong, a city he entered as a stowaway on a boat from mainland China when he was 12 years old. EF-EPA

jg/pd/tw

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