Five members of pro-democracy party Demosistō were released on bail of HK$500 each on Thursday evening after being arrested for attempting to block state official Zhang Dejiang’s motorcade as it travelled out of the Eastern Tunnel earlier that day.
The incident occurred on the final day of the Chinese number 3 official’s state visit to Hong Kong. The Demosistō members – including Chairman Nathan Law, Vice-Chairman Oscar Lai, and Secretary-general Joshua Wong – were arrested on suspicion of disrupting peace and disturbing public order, as well as obstructing police officers.
Around 20 supporters showed up at the Kwun Tong Police Station in support of the arrested, chanting slogans and holding up placards, demanding that the police release them, RTHK reported.
Demosistō posted on their Facebook page at around 1am on Friday, announcing that after over 12 hours of being detained, all of those arrested have been released on bail. They also thanked everyone for their support.
Wong said that they had hoped to block the motorcade so as to express their wishes for democratic elections and self-determination.
“What is most laughable to us about the whole operation is that the police is just a political cosmetic tool to convey a false sense of peace and prosperity,” Wong said outside the police station.
“When the police subdued us, they didn’t immediately arrest us or make other arrangements – they said that they needed to bring the car over to hide these students so that they won’t be seen by the leader.”
“The police arrangements are odd, inappropriate and baffle us… what we think is outrageous is that all five of us have had our houses searched, but they could not find a single relevant piece of evidence,” Wong said, questioning why the police had to devote all that manpower to do so.
Wong’s mobile phone has also been confiscated as evidence. He will report to police again in June.
Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.