Security law police officers have arrested eight men and three women on suspicion of aiding 12 Hongkongers in their bid to escape to Taiwan last August, according to NowTV and CitizenNews. Those arrested on Thursday were between the ages of 18 to 72.
Among those rounded up was District Councillor Daniel Wong Kwok-tung. Officers arrived at his house at 6:10 am in the morning, according to his Facebook page. Wong is a lawyer and also the founder of Aegis, a pro-democracy restaurant in Taipei, Taiwan, known to employ Hongkongers.
The mother of documentary filmmaker Willis Ho was also arrested Monday morning at 6:15 am and taken to Tsuen Wan police station, according to her Facebook page. The arrest was made in relation to the case of the 12 Hong Kong fugitives, Ho’s statement read.
TVB reported that a secondary school student was also detained.
Police arrested a group of nine individuals last October also suspected of aiding the fleeing activists who were attempting to escape to Taiwan on a speedboat. The group stood accused of providing financial and logistical support for the journey.
The 12 – who were facing criminal charges in Hong Kong – were detained for four months from last August in China. They were later charged by mainland authorities for illegally entering their waters. Last month, ten of the fugitives were given sentences ranging from seven months to three years while two minors were returned to Hong Kong, where they may face further charges.
One of the 12 fugitives, Andy Li, had been arrested under the security law last August. He is currently serving a seven month sentence in Shenzhen.
‘Don’t give up’
Following his arrest, Wong called on the public to not give up the fight for democracy in Hong Kong.
“Insist upon democracy, human rights, rule of law — don’t give them up! Don’t give up!,” the 71-year-old lawyer shouted as he was led away by officers from his office to a vehicle on Thursday, according to RTHK footage.