Police arrested a man outside Wan Chai’s Golden Bauhinia Square on Wednesday morning after he allegedly set a Hong Kong flag alight.

The man, Koo Sze-yiu, is a member of the pan-democratic League of Social Democrats and has previously faced charges for defacing the territory’s flag.

He was among 20 demonstrators who marched from Wan Chai MTR Station to Golden Bauhinia Square, where a Special Flag Raising Ceremony is held each year to mark the former British colony’s 1997 transfer of sovereignty.

Koo Sze-yiu taken by police
Koo Sze-yiu taken by police. Photo: Apple Daily
Protesters marching to Golden Bauhinia Square
Protesters marching to Golden Bauhinia Square. Photo: Apple Daily

Koo and other LSD members chanted slogans calling for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to step down, as well as demanding genuine universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

YouTube video

Denied access to Golden Bauhinia Square, they decided to protest outside of the venue. There, Koo was arrested after he was seen burning the regional flag.

Protesters burning photo of CY Leung.
Protesters burning photo of CY Leung. Photo: Apple Daily

The League of Social Democrats, led by legislator “Longhair” Leung Kwok-hung, has called for the resignation of Chief Executive CY Leung as well as full democracy in Hong Kong. The party also participated actively in last year’s Umbrella Movement.

In 2012, Koo was charged with attempting to burn the SAR flag outside of the China Liaison Office. He was sentenced to 2-month imprisonment, with a suspended sentence of one year.

According to Hong Kong law, one can face up to three years’ imprisonment for damaging or burning the national flag of the People’s Republic of China or that of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Eric is currently a Bachelor of Journalism student at the University of Hong Kong. Eric has his finger on the pulse of Hong Kong events and politics. His work has been published on The Guardian, Reuters and ABC News (America).