onsdag 6. januar 2021

Dozens of Hong Kong pro-democracy figures arrested in sweeping crackdown

More than 50 people, including pro-democracy politicians and campaigners, have been arrested in early-morning raids across Hong Kong in a crackdown by authorities that was condemned as a “despicable” assault on freedom. In a police operation involving more than 1,000 officers, the 53 individualswere detained under the territory’s controversial national security law (NSL), accused of “subverting state power” by holding primaries for pro-democracy candidates for the Hong Kong election.

That election was ultimately delayed by the chief executive, Carrie Lam, for a year, purportedly because of the pandemic, and has not yet taken place.

The raids on Wednesday sent shock waves around the once semi-autonomous city, as social media posts and news reports confirmed arrest after arrest. By mid-morning, lists of more than 50 individuals emerged, reportedly including every candidate to have run in the unofficial primaries last year, as well as organisers and pollsters, and the first known foreigner – an American lawyer – to be arrested under the law.