Hong Kong police have arrested an activist over his alleged role in organising a banned march in Yuen Long in protest of a notorious mob attack at the town’s MTR station more than two years ago.

Max Chung prior to his arrest on August 23, 2021. Photo: Stand News.

Max Chung had sought police permission to hold the march in Yuen Long six days after the MTR mob attack on protesters and others.

After his application was rejected, Chung said he would “march by himself” and not urge anyone else to join, but thousands chose to go to Yuen Long nonetheless. Clashes between protesters and police on July 27 resulted in 23 people being injured and 11 arrested.

‘Why did I choose to stay?’

Chung was arrested the following day. He was released without charge a month later, but was attacked by four men as he walked out of Tai Po police station.

Chung told reporters outside Tai Po police station on Monday before his latest arrest that officers had searched his apartment with a warrant earlier during the day and told him to surrender himself by 3 p.m.

Police said in a statement that they arrested the 41-year-old man for allegedly organising and taking part in an unauthorised assembly following an “in-depth investigation and seeking advice from the Department of Justice.”

A demonstration dubbed “Liberate Yuen Long” march on July 27, 2019. File Photo: May James/HKFP.

The second person who had applied to hold the July 27 protest, former district councillor Michael Mo, left Hong Kong at the end of July this year for the UK.

“Why did I choose to stay? Because after the national security law, basically the whole of Hong Kong’s pan-democrats have been silenced, afraid to voice their opinion on any issue,” Chung told reporters before his arrest.

“But society still has many problems, such as animal protection, which I’m concerned about, or transport policies. Hong Kong needs a diversity of voices.”

He said it was up to Hongkongers to decide whether his arrest was “an attempt to square accounts.” The police investigation into the attack on him has made no progress, he said.

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Selina Cheng

Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.