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World Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong Charged With Conspiring to Commit Subversion

18:03  28 february  2021
18:03  28 february  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Dozens of Hong Kong dissidents charged with security crime

  Dozens of Hong Kong dissidents charged with security crime Dozens of Hong Kong dissidents were charged with subversion on Sunday in the largest use yet by police of Beijing's sweeping new national security law, as authorities seek to cripple the finance hub's democracy movement. On Sunday, police confirmed 47 of them had now been charged with one count each of "conspiracy to commit subversion" -- one of the new national security crimes -- and would appear in court on Monday morning. Beijing is battling to stamp out dissent in semi-autonomous Hong Kong after swathes of the population hit the streets in 2019 in huge and sometimes violent democracy protests.

China has charged dozens of pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong with conspiring to commit subversion, under new draconian security law being enforced on the territory.

a group of people wearing costumes: This file photo shows pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong (centre) about to board a Correctional Service Department van at Lai Chi Kok on December 18, 2020, ahead of a court hearing in Hong Kong, China. © Anthony Kwan/Getty This file photo shows pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong (centre) about to board a Correctional Service Department van at Lai Chi Kok on December 18, 2020, ahead of a court hearing in Hong Kong, China.

Forty-seven people—reportedly including prominent young activists Joshua Wong, Lester Shum and Owen Chow—were charged on Sunday in the Chinese government's continued crackdown against opposition voices.

Hong Kong police charge dozens of activists with security crime

  Hong Kong police charge dozens of activists with security crime Forty-seven pro-democracy activists charged with ‘conspiracy to commit subversion’ in major crackdown on dissent.Last month 55 of the city’s best-known democracy campaigners were arrested in a series of dawn raids.

It comes after 55 pro-democracy campaigners were arrested in raids last month, as China imposes legislation outlawing "subversive" acts in the formerly British-controlled territory.

U.S. human rights lawyer John Clancey is among only eight of those arrested who have not been charged. He remains on bail, Reuters reported.

Beijing has recently warned Washington not to interfere in Hong Kong matters.

The controversial law came into force last year after mass pro-democracy protests in 2019. Critics say it has silenced anti-government voices and stripped Hong Kong of its autonomy that China agreed to maintain when taking control in 1997.

Sam Cheung, a 27-year-old participant in an unofficial primary election in 2020, was charged after reporting to a local police station, Reuters reports.

Bail hearing for Hong Kong dissidents continues for third day

  Bail hearing for Hong Kong dissidents continues for third day Former lawmaker condemns treatment of 47 pro-democracy defendants facing national security charges as ‘inhumane’.The group were back in the dock on Wednesday to hear arguments from the legal teams of the last eight defendants.

"This is a very strong signal from President Xi (Jinping) that he wants to eradicate the whole pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong," exiled activist Sunny Cheung told Reuters by phone.


Video: Dozens of leading Hong Kong pro-democracy campaigners charged with subversion (Reuters)

"If the international community doesn't react to the authoritarianism of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi will win and liberty and democracy will fall."

The European Union has called for the immediate release of those arrested. "The nature of these charges makes clear that legitimate political pluralism will no longer be tolerated in Hong Kong," its Hong Kong office said in a statement.

Newsweek has contacted the U.S. Department of State and those representing activists, including the imprisoned Joshua Wong, for comment.

China's decision to charge pro-democracy campaigners comes less than two months after it warned President Joe Biden's administration not to interfere with matters in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong residents seeking help to stay in Australia over fears of persecution under new national security law

  Hong Kong residents seeking help to stay in Australia over fears of persecution under new national security law A young backpacker is sharing her fears of being persecuted if she returns to her hometown Hong Kong, and calls for the federal government to provide more help to dozens of temporary visa holders from the city.Emily Chan, 32, first arrived in Australia as an international student in 2013.

Secretary of state Antony Blinken has previously tweeted in support of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement after local police confirmed the initial arrests.

"The Biden-Harris administration will stand with the people of Hong Kong and against Beijing's crackdown on democracy," Blinken wrote on Twitter.

Beijing sent a warning later that same day, with foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying telling reporters: "No other country has the right to make wanton criticism or interfere."

The United States should "respect facts and the rule of law," she added, while calling on Washington to "stop fabricating all sorts of pretexts for wanton political suppression and restrictions against China."

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