Two people were arrested by officers from Hong Kong’s National Security Department on Sunday for alleged “acts with seditious intention,” and have been detained for investigation.
The police said that a 59-year-old male combat coach and his 62-year-old female assistant were detained in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Police searched a shared event space that was used by the pair for combat training classes, where officers found evidence including posters that allegedly “incited hate” and electronic communication devices reportedly used to distribute seditious messages.
Four people – three men and a women – were also found training at the shared event space during the investigation. They were fined for breaching the two-person limit on public gatherings.
Currently all group gatherings of more than two people in public places are banned. Gyms are also among the list of scheduled premises shut under Covid-19 social distancing measures.
Alleged seditious speech
Citing sources, Ming Pao reported that the pair were accused of spreading seditious speech on social media, including asking people not to get Covid-19 vaccines.
According to HK01, among the evidence collected by the police were posters containing words and pictures linked to the anti-extradition bill protests and unrest in 2019.
The anti-sedition law that the pair were arrested under is different from the Beijing-imposed national security law, and outlaws incitement to violence, disaffection and other offences against the British Crown.
The colonial-era legislation was last amended in the 1970s when Hong Kong was still under British rule, and falls under the city’s Crimes Ordinance.