Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow has been arrested at her home in Tai Po.
According to police, the Demosisto activist was detained for allegedly inciting and participating in an unauthorised assembly at Wan Chai police headquarters on June 21.
That evening, thousands besieged the Wan Chai base chanting “release the righteous” and “shame on police thugs.” Eggs were thrown at the building, as others scrawled graffiti amid anger over alleged police misconduct during the anti-extradition law protests.
It comes after Demosisto’s Secretary-General Joshua Wong was also arrested on Friday, a day after police banned a pro-democracy protest set for Saturday.
Issac Cheng, vice-chair of Demosisto, said the government should respond to protesters’ demands and stop threatening them to stop participating in demonstrations: “We believe that the high-profile arrests before the August 31 protest are because they want to spread white terror among the Hong Kong protesters and Hongkongers.”
“Secondly, they are accusing Demosisto members and different high-profile activists in the movement to try to create a fictional atmosphere that there are leaders leading the campaign… But I have to emphasise that, for the movement, it is recognised as leaderless and organisation-less, so there are no single leaders that can be leading the whole movement.”
On Thursday, pro-independence leader Andy Chan was arrested at the airport.
Man-kei Tam, Director of Amnesty International Hong Kong, said the dawn swoops were “ludicrous” and “an outrageous assault on the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”
“At the very least, they must be released on bail as soon as possible… This past week, we have seen scare tactics straight out of Beijing’s playbook: pro-democracy protest organizers attacked by thugs, prominent activists arrested after being snatched from their homes and streets, and a major rally planned for Saturday banned,” he said.
He also called for the authorities to halt attacks on peaceful assembly and free expression.
Anger over Hong Kong’s ill-fated extradition bill – which would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to China – and police behaviour have sparked ongoing protests since June. The demonstrations have evolved into – sometimes violent – displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy, alleged police brutality, surveillance and other community grievances. The Civil Human Rights Front decided to cancel Saturday’s anti-extradition law march after their bid to overturn a police ban failed.
More to follow.
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