The 12 Hong Kong folks arrested at sea by mainland authorities weren’t “democratic activists being oppressed”, the town’s chief Carrie Lam mentioned on Tuesday, with 10 of them on bail for offences within the Asian monetary hub.
- Last Updated: September 15, 2020, 9:24 AM IST
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HONG KONG: The 12 Hong Kong folks arrested at sea by mainland authorities weren’t “democratic activists being oppressed”, the town’s chief Carrie Lam mentioned on Tuesday, with 10 of them on bail for offences within the Asian monetary hub.
The 12 had been arrested on Aug. 23 for unlawful entry into mainland China after setting off from Hong Kong in a ship sure for self-ruled Taiwan, amid a crackdown by Beijing on pro-democracy activists within the former British colony.
Hong Kong’s Security Bureau mentioned on Monday all 12 had been suspected of committing crimes in Hong Kong.
Ten of them had been charged with offences resembling manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson, rioting, assaulting police or possession of offensive weapons. Those 10 had been on bail and never allowed to depart Hong Kong, it mentioned.
One was suspected of colluding with international forces underneath a nationwide safety regulation that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong in June. The regulation permits for the punishment of something China considers to be subversion, separatism, terrorism or such collusion.
Speaking at her common weekly information convention, Lam reiterated that the 12 should face justice within the mainland and that her authorities will present them and their households with the “needed and feasible” help.
“The reason for them leaving Hong Kong seems to be that they were running away from legal responsibility,” Lam mentioned.
“I want to set the record straight, because certain local and overseas individuals tried to shift the attention, describing them as democratic (activists) being oppressed.”
Lam’s feedback come after family members of among the detainees held a information convention on Saturday to demand their pressing return and plead for them to be allowed to name house and seek the advice of attorneys appointed by the households and never the Chinese authorities.
Hours earlier than the households’ look, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the United States was deeply involved concerning the activists, noting they’d been denied entry to attorneys.
China’s international ministry on Sunday labelled the group “separatists”. Police within the Chinese metropolis of Shenzhen, the place they’re being held, mentioned on Sunday they had been suspected of unlawful entry, its first public discover on the matter.
Asked about whether or not it was applicable label them as “separatists” given they’re but to face trial, Lam mentioned she noticed “no particular value” in debating the difficulty.
(Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Michael Perry)
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