Ex-chairman for the Democratic Party Wu Chi-wai has been accused of breaching bail conditions linked to his unauthorised assembly case, after the democrat’s British National (Overseas) passport was allegedly found when police arrested him under the national security law on Wednesday.

The ex-lawmaker – detained since Wednesday morning for committing “subversion” under the Beijing-enacted security legislation – was transferred to the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Court directly from the Wong Tai Sin Police Station on Thursday.

Wu Chi-wai
Wu Chi-wai. File Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The prosecution accused Wu of having failed to surrender all of his travel documents, which was required when the court released him on bail at a hearing on December 17. Prosecutors asked the court to revoke his bail and magistrate Peter Law adjourned the case to Friday morning. The leading opposition figure will be detained at a Correctional Services facility in the meantime.

The media were restricted from reporting some details of the case owing to court reporting rules.

The 58-year-old and seven other democrats were arrested in early December over an unauthorised assembly last July 1 to protest the newly-enacted security law. He is facing one count of inciting others to take part in an unauthorised assembly and knowingly participating in an unlawful assembly.

Wu was among the 53 pro-democracy figures arrested under the security law on Wednesday over the organisation and participation of an unofficial primary election for the democratic camp last July. The group stand accused of alleged subversion, as police said the primaries were part of a plan to achieve legislative majority to veto budget bills and eventually shut down the government.

arrested democrats Jan 6
Some of the democrats arrested under the national security law on January 6, 2020. From L to R: Wu Chi-Wai, Lester Shum, Gwyneth Ho, Alvin Yeung, James To, Kwok Ka-ki, Lam Cheuk-ting, Eddie Chu, Ventus Lau, Benny Tai, Raymond Chan, Leung Kwok-hung.

The mass arrests were the biggest roundup of opposition figures under the security law since its implementation last June. The arrests have been lambasted by rights groups and foreign governments as an attempt to quash all political opposition in the city.

On Thursday, Hong Kong’s government hit out at “sweeping and erroneous” criticism from abroad following the arrests: “We are appalled by remarks made by some overseas government officials,” a spokesperson said, accusing critics of “double standards.”

Wu Chi-wai quit the legislature in November last year, along with other pan-democrats, in protest at the disqualification of four “unpatriotic” legislators from the pro-democracy camp.

Support HKFP  |  Policies & Ethics  |  Error/typo?  |  Contact Us  |  Newsletter  | Transparency & Annual Report | Apps

legal precedents hong kong
security law transformed hong kong
contact hkfp

Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.