Thursday, 27 April 2017

Arrests in Fight for Democracy

Last November's stand off with police in front of the Liaison Office
This morning nine activists were rounded up on suspected charges of unlawful assembly and disorderly conduct following a rally outside the central government's liaison office last November over the Legislative Council's oath-taking controversy.

The nine included those from Demosisto (Derek Lam Shun-hin and Ivan Lam Long-yin), the League of Social Democrats (Avery Ng Man-yuen and Dickson Chau Ka-faat), and Students Fight for Democracy (Lo Tak-cheung and Sammy Ip Chi-hin).

Avery Ng is dismayed by more arrests of activists like himself
"This is the third time doorstep arrests have been made this year. The political suppression is not over yet!" Ng wrote in a Facebook post. He claimed he had been arrested on two charges of "inciting others to cause disorder in a public place".

This follows the arrest of Youngspiration duo Yau Wai-ching and Sixtus Baggio Leung Chung-hang, who were charged with unlawful assembly when they tried to force their way into Legco in order to try to retake their oaths on November 2.

It looks like in the last few months of his leadership, Leung Chun-ying doesn't want to show that he's weak, only being able to rule for one term. Or maybe he's promised Beijing to snuff out any kind of pro-independence movement by using the law to shut them up.

By trying to scare people with jail, others may think twice about continuing the fight for democracy in Hong Kong.

Youngspiration's Sixtus Leung & Yau Wai-ching were charged
It's something Amnesty International has pointed out, commenting after the nine arrests this morning.

"The repeated use of vague charges against prominent figures in Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement reeks of an orchestrated and retaliatory campaign by the authorities to punish those that advocate for democracy in Hong Kong," said Mabel Au, director of Amnesty International Hong Kong.

"The Hong Kong government should be protecting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, but instead appears intent on intimidating people who are challenging the authorities," she added.

The first test will be on July 1, the 20th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China, and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in town for the festivities. Maybe Leung is tasked with getting rid of dissent during Xi's visit, but whatever happened to "one country, two systems"?

Deng Xiaoping himself coined the phrase so why can't the central leadership accept it?

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