Hong Kong police arrested on Wednesday, Sept. 8, members of a pro-democracy organization in charge of the city’s commemoration vigils for the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre after they were charged under the Chinese regime’s national security law in Hong Kong with working as “foreign agents,” according to BBC reports.
Four members of the Hong Kong Alliance, a pro-democracy group, actively trying to resist the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) growing domination of the island, were arrested for refusing to hand over information about the organization’s members’ personal data and financial records, which under the new security law is a criminal offense.
The security law, which came into force on June 30, 2020, in Hong Kong, establishes the creation of a security force that acts directly under the orders of the CCP and allows those suspected of committing crimes punishable under the law to be tried in mainland China, where most prosecutions are illegal or of dubious legality.
The law defines punishable offenses as “secession, subversion, organization and perpetration of terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.”
According to reports, the Hong Kong Alliance had until Tuesday to hand over data that the Hong Kong police’s national security unit had requested last month from the organization, accusing it of working as a “foreign agent.”
But the alliance rejected the accusation that they are foreign agents, claiming they are a domestic group acting on behalf of Hong Kongers. On Tuesday, they submitted a letter to the police claiming the request was illegal, arbitrary and that no evidence of wrongdoing had been presented.
Among those detained is Chow Hang Tung, the organization’s vice president, pro-democracy activist, and human rights lawyer. She wrote on her Facebook account at the time of her arrest, “Does anyone have any parting words they would like to share with me?”
Ms. Chow had been arrested earlier this year and charged with promoting unauthorized gatherings. She was later released on bail.
Three other members of the group, Simon Leung, Sean Tang, and Chan To-wai, were arrested Wednesday morning, the alliance said in a statement.
According to statements from the security bureau, published by France 24, “Anyone who has violated the national security law of Hong Kong and other laws of Hong Kong must be punished by the law.”
Under this infamous law, dozens of democracy figures have been arrested on national security charges, and an official campaign has been launched to purge Hong Kong of anyone deemed dissident and ‘unpatriotic.’
There is also heavy censorship of films with political content; even curricula have been rewritten. Dissident artists are also being persecuted and censored.
As for the large and crowded candlelight vigils in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park every June 4, to commemorate the brutal crackdown in China’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, they have been banned since last year. Hong Kong authorities, under the rule of the Chinese regime, claim they violate security law.