Pro-democracy lawmakers Jeremy Tam and Au Nok-hin were arrested on Friday evening – the latest of the high-profile pro-democracy activists to be rounded up by Hong Kong police.
Au was arrested for assaulting a police officer and obstructing a police officer on July 8, police said. Tam was also arrested on Friday for obstructing a police officer.
Both lawmakers were present in Mong Kok in the early hours of July 8, after a massive anti-extradition bill protest that took place the day before. The march was meant to inform mainland visitors about the movement, and organisers estimated that the event drew 230,000.
After the peaceful march ended at the West Kowloon high-speed rail terminus, some protesters took over the streets in Tsim Sha Tsui and walked along Nathan Road to Mong Kok.
Several democrats, including Au and Tam, were on the scene as riot police sought to clear Nathan Road in Mong Kok on the night of July 7 and into the early hours of July 8. News footage at the time showed a heated discussion between the lawmakers and police.
Their arrests come after the detention of other several high-profile activists over the space of two days, including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow, Andy Chan, Althea Suen and Shatin District Councillor Rick Hui. Lawmaker Cheng Chung-tai was also arrested en route to an event in Tin Shui Wai on Friday.
The crackdown comes a day before the fifth anniversary of the day Beijing handed down its restrictive framework for Hong Kong’s leadership elections. A protest planned for Saturday was banned by police and subsequently cancelled by organisers.
Since June, the police have arrested more than 900 people in relation to the ongoing anti-extradition law protests. The ill-fated bill would have allowed case-by-case fugitive transfers to China. Large-scale peaceful protests have morphed into – sometimes violent – displays of dissent over Beijing’s encroachment, democracy, alleged police brutality, surveillance and other community grievances.
HKFP has contacted the police for comment.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.