High-profile democracy activists arrested in HK
Police in Hong Kong have arrested 15 of some of the city’s most high-profile pro-democracy activists.
The group includes 71-year-old media tycoon Jimmy Lai as well as a number of prominent lawmakers.
They are accused of organising, taking part in or publicising unauthorised assembles during last year’s mass protests in the Chinese territory.
They are due to appear in court next month.
The government has not explained the high-profile arrests but they come days after Beijing’s most senior official in the city called for a new security law to deal with dissent.
Before the coronavirus outbreak, Hong Kong had witnessed almost weekly demonstrations against a proposal to allow extraditions to the Chinese mainland.
While that was later abandoned, the protests morphed into demands for greater democracy and less control from Beijing, and anger against the government remains.
Who was arrested?
Media tycoon Jimmy Lai runs the Apple Daily newspaper, which is frequently critical of the Hong Kong and Chinese leadership.
Mr Lai, who was estimated by Forbes in 2009 to be worth $660m (£512m), was also arrested in February this year on charges of illegal assembly and intimidation.
Democratic Party founder and barrister Martin Lee, 81, was another prominent figure to be detained.
The 81-year-old – who is known as the father of Hong Kong democracy – said he was “very much relieved” by his arrest, according to AFP news agency.
“For so many years, so many months, so many good youngsters were arrested and charged, while I was not arrested. I feel sorry about it,” he added.
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