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Beijing, 6 Jan (EFE)
Hong Kong police today arrested 50 opposition politicians and activists for their alleged violation of the controversial National Security Law, the Hong Kong press reported.
Many of the opponents, among them several former deputies, were arrested for their participation in the primaries of the Democratic side last July in view of the legislative elections of September, which were finally postponed by the authorities under the pretext of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is the largest arrest since the controversial National Security Law came into effect on June 30th, which orders up to life imprisonment for alleged secession or collusion with foreign forces.
The Democratic Party assured through its profile on the social network Twitter that the police considered the Democratic campaign to try to gain a majority in the Hong Kong Parliament “an act of subversion that violates the National Security Law.”
Among those arrested are former MPs Leung Kwok-Hung, Gary Fan, Lam Cheuk-ting, Chu Hoi-dick, Au Nok-hin, Alvin Yeung, Wu Chi-wai, James To and Andrew Wan.
Primary organizer Benny Tai was also among those arrested, as was Robert Chung, executive director of the Public Opinion Research Institute of Hong Kong (PORI), which provided the technology needed to conduct the voting.
PORI’s number two, Chung Kim-wash, told Commercial Radio today that he was contacted by the police today to help with the investigations.
China researcher for the organization Human Rights Watch, Maya Wang, said today that “the Chinese government has decided to celebrate 2021 with the arrests of more than 50 prominent pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, erasing the democratic-looking remnants left in the city.”
“Once again, Beijing doesn’t learn from its mistakes in Hong Kong: repression generates resistance, and millions of Hong Kong people will continue their struggle for their right to vote and to run for a democratically elected government,” she said.
Since the enforcement of the law, which was drawn up and imposed directly from Beijing, there have been numerous police raids and arrests of activists. Some opposition figures have decided to go into exile to try to avoid reprisals for activities that, under the new legislation, constitute a crime that can carry significant jail sentences.