A lawyer belonging to the pro-democracy camp has been arrested by Hong Kong police on Thursday over suspicion that he helped 12 city dwellers, who were caught by mainland authorities earlier last year, try to flee to Taiwan. The lawyer named Daniel Wong Kwok-tung was arrested as part of the ongoing crackdown in the city that has seen over 50 pro-democracy former lawmakers and activists were taken into custody under the new national security law in the past few days. Kwok-tung was arrested along with 10 other people, including three women, who are also accused of helping the famous Hong Kong 12.
Kwok-tung has fought hundreds of cases for pro-democracy activists and protesters since the widespread movement began in Hong Kong against the Chinese regime earlier in 2019. Kwok-tung, who is also a Democratic Party politician, took to his Facebook handle to share information regarding his arrest moments before he was taken into custody. Kwok-tung said that police have arrived at his home to arrest him but he has not been told exactly to which police station he will be taken. Kwok-tung is accused of helping Hong Kong 12, a 12-member group arrested in August 2020 while allegedly attempting to illegally flee to Taiwan.
Last Wednesday, authorities made mass arrests across Hong Kong as at least 55 people were taken into custody under the controversial national security law. China passed the national security law last year in June despite widespread protests demanding the rollback of the legislation. As per experts, Beijing intends to use the law to further curb freedom of expression in the former British colony and strike down any demand of independent Hong Kong.
According to the Associated Press, the mass arrests were made on Wednesday over unofficial election primaries held last year to field enough pro-democracy candidates to take control of the Hong Kong legislative council, currently controlled by pro-Beijing lawmakers. Police raided the homes of former lawmakers and activists, who had participated in the primaries. The house of jailed activist Joshua Wong, who is currently serving a sentence for organising and participating in a protest last year, was also raided by the police. The legislative elections that were scheduled to take place in September 2020 were called-off by the Hong Kong election commission citing COVID-19 concerns.
(Image Credit: AP)