Two media owners and four prominent Hong Kong politicians were arrested by police today, Feb. 28, after all six of them took part in pro-democracy protests in August 2019.
One of those arrested was Jimmy Lai, the 71-year-old owner of the pro-democracy tabloid Apple Daily, who had his mobile phone confiscated, an action he found suspicious, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.
“They didn’t say anything about searching my phone while I was giving my statement,” Lai complained.
“I find it suspicious. It seems like the arrest this morning was to do with collecting evidence [against me], not for prosecution,” he said, trying to find a reason for the event.
Another detainee was Li Zhiying, the founder of One Media Group, who was taken to Kowloon City Police Station, from where he was released on bail and assisted by a lawyer.
Also arrested was Lee Cheuk-yan, 63, vice president of the Labour Party and former president of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which organizes the annual vigils in the city for the Tiananmen massacre.
Li Zhuoren of the Labour Party, as well as Yang Sen and Yeung Sum of the Democratic Party, met the same fate, according to Now News.
“We participated in the march [on August 31] because we thought the right to protest was one of the basic rights and fundamental values of Hong Kong,” Yeung said.
During the Civil Front for Human Rights march, which was banned by the police, pro-democracy protesters and officials faced widespread violence against march participants.
Prior to the march, nine pro-democracy figures were arrested, including several activists and legislators.
Protests by millions of people began in June with the announcement of a controversial bill allowing the extradition of Hong Kong residents to mainland China.
The fear that those extradited would be convicted on false charges was based on the lack of transparency in the judicial system that characterizes the Chinese regime.
Until 1997 Hong Kong was a British colony whose government was transferred to the Chinese political system, on condition that the freedoms enjoyed by its inhabitants were respected.
But the exercise of those freedoms has been increasingly restricted by the Chinese communist regime, causing the Hong Kong people to struggle to preserve them.