Hong Kong pro-independence group Studentlocalism has said its former member Tim Luk was detained by police on Monday for “assisting fugitives.” The arrest was reportedly linked to the group’s ex-convenor Tony Chung, who became the city’s first political figure to be charged with “secession” under the Beijing-imposed national security law.

The group said on Facebook that Luk was taken into custody by officers from the newly-established national security unit. The ex-Studentlocalism member – who is in his late 30s – was an assistant for Sha Tin District Councillor Charles Lo, but he left his position in April.

Studentlocalism’s flags at a street booth. Photo: Studentlocalism, via Facebook.

“Former Studentlocalism member Tim Luk has been arrested today by the national security agency for assisting fugitives. He has accepted legal assistance,” the group wrote.

Studentlocalism terminated its operations in Hong Kong hours before Beijing enacted the national security law on June 30. The sweeping legislation outlaws secession, subversion, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts – broadly defined to include disruption to public transport and other infrastructure.The group now operates abroad with divisions in the US, Australia and Taiwan.

Lo confirmed with HKFP that some national security officers raided Luk’s residence and made an arrest at around 10 am on Monday. He said he had limited information on the latest condition of his ex-staffer, adding he would coordinate with Studentlocalism to get more updates.

Studentlocalism convener Tony Chung
Studentlocalism convener Tony Chung. Photo: inmediahk.net.

In response to HKFP’s enquiries, police said its national security unit arrested a 34-year-old man surnamed Luk in Yuen Long on Monday for allegedly assisting an offender. The arrested man is still detained for investigation, the force said.

Chung was arrested and prosecuted for allegedly committing secession under the new security legislation last month. The teen activist also faces two counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to publish seditious materials under a colonial-era law.

The activist was ordered to remain in custody until his next court appearance on January 7, 2021.

In July, police apprehended Chung and three other ex-members of Studentlocalism on suspicion of “inciting secession” under the security law. Police at the time said the arrests were linked to some social media posts which called on people to use all means to establish a “republic of Hong Kong” and unite all pro-independence political groups.

Two of the arrested individuals – Yanni Ho and William Chan – were rounded up again last month on the same day as Chung, but they were later released on bail.

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Kelly Ho has an interest in local politics, education and sports. She formerly worked at South China Morning Post Young Post, where she specialised in reporting on issues related to Hong Kong youth. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong, with a second major in Politics and Public Administration.