Sze Ching-wee, a former secretary for the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, was arrested at Hong Kong airport on Saturday on suspicion of conspiring to collude with foreign forces, local media reported citing sources.

Sze Ching-wee
Sze Ching-wee in West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on August 9, 2022. File photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Police told HKFP that the national security department arrested a 38-year-old man, who “was suspected of breaching Article 29 of the National Security Law,” that is conspiring “to collude with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security.”

The man was released on bail and must report to police in February, authorities said.

Sze, along with five others, has been on trial for allegedly failing to register the fund, which provided financial support for those arrested or injured during the protests and unrest in 2019, as a society.

The five others were the fund’s trustees – Cardinal Joseph Zen, barrister Margaret Ng, ex-lawmaker Cyd Ho, scholar Hui Po-keung and singer-activist Denise Ho. All six pleaded not guilty and a verdict is expected to be handed down on November 25.

612 Cardinal Zen, Margaret Ng, Hui Po-keung and Denise Ho
Cardinal Joseph Zen, Margaret Ng, Hui Po-keung and Denise Ho. Photos: HKFP.

In May, the five trustees were arrested by national security police on suspicion of conspiring to collude with foreign powers, also related to the protester fund. They have yet to be charged.

Protests erupted in June 2019 over a since-axed extradition bill. They escalated into sometimes violent displays of dissent against police behaviour, amid calls for democracy and anger over Beijing’s encroachment. Demonstrators demanded an independent probe into police conduct, amnesty for those arrested and a halt to the characterisation of protests as “riots.” 

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Almond Li

Almond Li

Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.