Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong
He was held for “unlawful assembly” during protests last year, his lawyers said. He was also reportedly charged with violating the anti-mask law — a ban placed on wearing masks in public.
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested for “unlawful assembly” related to a 2019 protest against a government ban on face masks, his lawyer said.
The 23-year-old said on Twitter that he was also being held for violating the anti-mask law – a ban on wearing face masks in public places, which has since been ruled unconstitutional.
“The arrest is related to participating in an unauthorized assembly on 5Oct last year. He is told to have violated the draconian anti-mask law as well,” Wong’s official Twitter account said.
The Hong Kong government invoked a colonial-era emergency law on Oct. 4 of last year to ban the wearing of masks at demonstrations, sparking an outry and mass protests against the ban across the city the next day.
Avery Ng, chairman of the League of Social Democrats, confirmed that both Wong and Koo Sze Yiu, a fellow member of the group, have been arrested.
The arrest comes just a day after a Hong Kong court rejected on procedural grounds a challenge by Wong to his disqualification from district elections in the city last year. Wong was the only candidate in the district council elections to be disqualified, with authorities saying his candidacy violated electoral laws that bar “advocating or promoting self-determination” for the former British colony.
Huge demonstrations broke out in Hong Kong in June 2019 in response to a bill that would allow for the extradition of dissidents to mainland China to face trial there. Last month, China introduced a sweeping national security law which bans subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
Critics fear that the law will be used to more broadly quash dissent within the semi-autonomous city. DW.COM
lc/rt (AFP, dpa)