UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News

Hong Kong

Arrests strengthen pro-democracy call in Hong Kong  

Rights groups see Chinese determination to crush the pro-democracy movement in the move

UCA News reporter

UCA News reporter

Updated: February 28, 2020 09:21 AM GMT
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Arrests strengthen pro-democracy call in Hong Kong  

Police detain an injured man after police dispersed a crowd gathered for the 'universal siege on communists' rally at Chater Garden in Hong Kong on Jan. 19. Three pro-democracy activists were arrested on Feb. 28 on charges of participating in illegal gatherings. (Photo: Philip Fong/AFP)

Share this article :
Civil rights defenders including a church group in Hong Kong have reiterated their determination to work for democracy after police arrested three pro-democracy activists.

Hong Kong police on Feb. 28 arrested democracy activists Lee Cheuk-yan and Yeung Sum along with media tycoon Jimmy Lai on charges of participating in illegal gatherings.

“Since June, the police have indiscriminately arrested more than 7,000 people and repeatedly violated people’s right to freedom of procession and assembly,” Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front said in a statement.

The Front, which includes the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong Diocese, said it was “very angry at the police’s indiscriminate arrests and strongly condemned it.”

All three arrested were, however, released on bail later in the day.

Lai, a 71-year-old millionaire, is believed to be a significant funder of the pro-democracy protests that began in June 2019.

Lee, 63, is the vice-chairman of the Labour Party, while 72-year-old Yeung Sum is a former chairman of the Democracy Party. Both men have actively participated in the protests. 

The protests have subsided because of the Covid-19 virus epidemic that began in mainland China and spread to Hong Kong, the former British colony now governed by Beijing.

Protests began in opposition to an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to China for trial in Communist Party-controlled courts. It has since been suspended but protests continue demanding wider democratic reforms and an investigation into alleged police brutality.

“Police continue to indiscriminately arrest” people, the Front said in the statement.

People are dissatisfied with suppression of the legitimate right to march and hold peaceful rallies, it said.

The arrests reveal the police’s determination to crush people’s freedom to protest against police brutality and their scant regard for the fundamental political rights of people, it said.

"
The police are more than violent … the epidemic prevention funds are used to suppress public opinion, the taxpayers’ money is used to buy bullets to hit citizens," it said

The police move will only make Hong Kong people "more united, persistent and courageous," the Front said, asking people not to forget all arrested persons and their counterparts in prison and to insist on true universal suffrage.

Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
UCA Newsletter
YOUR DAILY
NEWSLETTER
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter

Also Read

UCA News Podcast
UCAN Ad
 
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution
Mission in Asia | Make a Contribution