Hong Kong police arrest pro-democracy activists ahead of planned mass rally on Saturday

Hong Kong Police arrest prominent pro-democracy activists on Friday ahead of a planned mass rally planned on Saturday against Beijing’s control over the semi-autonomous territory.

Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, both leaders of Demosisto Party, were held at police headquarters and charged with unlawfully organising a public meeting in June. They were freed after paying $1,200 in bail. Their case would be taken up before courts in November.

Wong has called on the Hong Kong government to scrap a controversial extradition bill, which sparked the ongoing protests in the Chinese territory.

Andy Chan, an independence activist, was arrested at Hong Kong’s international airport on Thursday as he attempted to fly to Japan. Legislator Cheng Chung-tai from the Civic Passion party and former University of Hong Kong student union president Althea Suen were also arrested.

Saturday’s planned rally is aimed squarely at Beijing’s decision five years ago to the day to foreclose on free-and-fair elections. “Hong Kong police are acting on Beijing’s orders,” said Ching Cheong, a Hong Kong-based commentator on Chinese politics.

“The arrests sure won’t suppress the unrest, but the Chinese Communist Party has its own logic.”

However, Hong Kong authorities denied the seven arrests had anything to do with Saturday’s planned demonstration.

The Protests began in early June over the extradition bill, which opponents believe will enable the Chinese authorities to circumvent their promises to preserve the territory’s separate justice system. Since the protests more than 850 people were arrested in connection with the demonstrations.

Source : Various