Hong Kong activists pointed lasers from the top of popular protest spot Lion Rock on Monday evening, to shine a light on the 12 fugitives detained in mainland China for an alleged illegal border crossing.

China’s coastguard intercepted a speedboat headed for Kaohsiung in Taiwan in late August. Most of those on board were facing criminal charges in Hong Kong related to last year’s pro-democracy protests. One of them, activist Andy Li, had been arrested under the Beijing-enacted national security law more than a week beforehand.

Hong Kong 12
Activists shine lasers from the top of Lion Rock on October 12 to remember the 12 Hongkongers detained in mainland China.

“Lady Liberty Group” claimed responsibility for the Lion Rock stunt, writing on Facebook that its members hoped everyone in every country would pay attention and not forget about the fugitives – dubbed the “Hong Kong 12.”

“The Hong Kong government is so incompetent that it disregards the inadequacy of China’s judicial system, and only blindly follows China’s desires, without providing any proper assistance to the family members of the arrested persons,” the statement read.

Ten of the 12 have been formally arrested in mainland China for the border crossing and the other two for allegedly organising the voyage. Relatives have been denied access to the group. They are pressing the Hong Kong government to intercede in the case.

The city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Monday declined to answer a question on the detained activists, saying: “This question is asked every week.”

Hong Kong 12
Photo: @save12hkyouths, via Twitter.

“Lady Liberty Group” also posted images of neon signs reading “Save 12” in front of Taipei 101 and Liberty Square in Taiwan’s capital.

Hong Kong 12
Photo: @save12hkyouths, via Facebook.

The group previously hoisted a three-metre-tall statue of a pro-democracy protester to the top of Lion Rock. It came amid months of citywide unrest last year calling for democratic reform and police accountability.

The mountain overlooks Hong Kong Island from the Kowloon Peninsula and is popular among activists for displaying banners or shining lights.

Dozens beamed lights onto the city from the peak on October 1 as calls to hold evening protests to mark China’s National Day failed to materialise.

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Jennifer Creery is a Hong Kong-born British journalist, interested in minority rights and urban planning. She holds a BA in English at King's College London and has studied Mandarin at National Taiwan University.