Beijing, 16 Dec (EFE)
The Prosecutor’s Office of the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen today formally charged a dozen Hong Kong citizens who allegedly tried to cross the border in August this year with the intention of escaping to Taiwan.
According to a statement issued today by the Prosecutor’s Office, two people have been charged with organizing an operation to “cross the border illegally” and eight others with attempting to cross the border.
In addition, two other minors will receive a closed-door hearing.
In total, 12 Hong Kong people have been detained in Shenzhen since August 23, 2020 after the Coast Guard of southeastern China‘s Canton province arrested them aboard a motor boat.
The Cantonese Coast Guard reported on August 23rd that, after intercepting the boat, they arrested more than ten people “suspected of crossing the border illegally.
The prosecutor’s office detailed that one of the passengers is named Li, and the Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post said that it is Andy Li, a well-known local activist who was arrested for allegedly colluding with foreign forces and laundering money before being released on bail two days later.
Li was part of the election observation mission set up for the November 2019 district elections, in which pro-democracy candidates were overwhelmed.
Police sources cited anonymously by the Hong Kong diary suspect Li of being “a key member of a group called ‘Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong,'” which reportedly called for international sanctions against the former British colony for China’s imposition of a controversial national security law.
Since the passage of that law on June 30th, there have been numerous police raids and arrests of several prominent Hong Kong activists.
Some of them, like Nathan Law, have opted for exile to try to avoid reprisals for activities that, under the new legislation, could constitute a crime.
The new law establishes penalties of up to life imprisonment for cases of “secession, subversion against state power (a charge usually used against dissidents and critics of the Communist regime), terrorist activities and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.”