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Hong Kong Arrests Nine for Helping Antigovernment Activists Escape

HONG KONG—Hong Kong law enforcement arrested 9 people today on Saturday who they reported aided a group of antigovernment activists—known locally as the Hong Kong 12—that attempted to flee the city by boat only to be intercepted by mainland authorities and taken to China, where they now await demo.

The arrests, which law enforcement reported came right after they acquired facts from their mainland counterparts, were being the hottest in a deepening campaign in opposition to dissent in Hong Kong, which for much more than a 12 months has viewed waves of mass protest in opposition to China’s Communist Get together federal government.

Among the individuals detained Saturday, law enforcement reported, was the first operator of the boat that carried the escaping activists, as nicely as people today who supplied accommodation for them or gave them rides to their departure issue on the morning of Aug. 23.

All 9 were being accused of helping fugitives. If charged and convicted, they could deal with up to ten many years in jail, law enforcement reported.

Hong Kong Law enforcement Senior Superintendent Ho Chun-tung reported law enforcement also seized much more than five hundred,000 Hong Kong dollars, or about $sixty four,000, and receipts for transactions related to the boat. He reported the twelve activists each paid tens of hundreds of Hong Kong dollars to be smuggled out.

Eddie Chu, a professional-democracy politician, reported it was very clear law enforcement in Hong Kong and the mainland experienced a “sophisticated plan” to crack down on the supporters of Hong Kong’s protest movement.

“I feel it’s only the commencing of this type of arrest,” he reported.

The Hong Kong twelve experienced all been going through fees in Hong Kong related to professional-democracy actions ahead of they fled. The Chinese Coast Guard stopped their boat in the South China Sea. Due to the fact August, they have been held in a detention center in the mainland city of Shenzhen.

Prosecutors there have accused most of them of unlawful border crossing, a demand that carries a 1-12 months sentence. Two—a 31-12 months-aged salesman named Tang Kai-yin, and Quinn Moon, 33, the only woman on the boat—were accused of arranging the vacation and could deal with longer jail conditions.

Family members of the detainees in Hong Kong reported they have experienced no get in touch with with the group and the attorneys they hired have been barred from conference them by the mainland authorities.

Former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung reported his ex-assistant, Tang Yuen-ching, was 1 of the 9 people today arrested Saturday. Ms. Tang, seventy two, is married to an activist who was imprisoned for ten many years in Guangdong province in the nineteen eighties right after he traveled there to assistance dissidents on the mainland.

Other individuals, aged 27 and above, are mainly good friends of the fugitives, law enforcement reported. One is a cook, one more is a tunes trainer and one more is an place of work employee.

Mr. Ho, the law enforcement senior superintendent, reported the investigation is ongoing and will target on regardless of whether the group aided smuggle others out of Hong Kong. There may be much more arrests, he reported.

Compose to Wenxin Fan at [email protected]

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