One of Hong Kong’s last remaining pro-democracy groups, the League of Social Democrats (LSD), said it was “forced to delete” online posts that were allegedly violating the Beijing-imposed national security law.

Chan Po-ying, chairperson of the LSD, said in a statement published on the group’s Facebook page on Sunday that she could not elaborate.

A protest staged by the League of Social Democrats on May 8, 2022, ahead of the 2022 Chief Executive Election. Photo: Kyle Lam/HKFP.

“Under great pressure, the LSD was forced to delete online posts that were allegedly violating the national security law,” the statement read, adding that “the details cannot be disclosed.”

“LSD will continue to speak up, speech is not a crime, long live democracy.”

The police told HKFP on Monday that it “would not comment on individual cases.”

“Any action taken by the police will be dealt with in accordance with the law, dependant on the actual situation,” the response read.

The national security law, enacted in June two years ago after months of protests, criminalised subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces and terrorist acts, which were broadly defined to include disruption to transport and other infrastructure.

The move gave police sweeping new powers, alarming democrats, civil society groups and trade partners, as such laws have been used broadly to silence and punish dissidents in China. However, the authorities say it has restored stability and peace to the city.

LSD’s statement came weeks after the homes of some members of the pro-democracy group, including Chan, Avery Ng, Raphael Wong, were searched ahead of the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover back to China. Some LSD volunteers were also summoned for meetings by the national security police ahead of July 1.

File photo: GovHK.

Chan told HKFP in an interview before the anniversary that the group did not want “there to be only one narrative in society, singing praise and papering over the cracks.”

Following the implementation of the sweeping security legislation, the majority of the city’s pro-democracy figures either faced prosecution, left Hong Kong in self-exile, or bowed out of the political scene.

Several LSD members were prosecuted and imprisoned over protest-related charges. Former lawmaker “Long Hair” Leung Kwok-hung was one of the 47 democrats charged under the security law after taking part in an unofficial primary election for the then-postponed Legislative Council election.

Some of the defendants in the case have been remanded in custody for over a year since they were first brought to court in March 2021.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.