About fifty members of the pro-democracy movement have been indicted for “subversion” in Hong Kong, police said on Sunday, the largest group prosecuted the same day in the name of the draconian national security law.
Fifty-five people were arrested last month, including some of the best-known figures in the pro-democracy movement, after a massive crackdown.
Police said on Sunday that 47 had been charged with “conspiracy to commit an act of subversion,” one of the qualifications covered by the National Security Law that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong last year in response to months of protests that shook the city in 2019. The former British colony then went through its worst political crisis since its handover in 1997 to China. And Beijing undertook last year a muscular takeover of its theoretically semi-autonomous region.
This was notably materialized by the new law which was imposed at the end of June 2020 without debate within the Legislative Council (LegCo) of Hong Kong and tackles four types of crime: subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. These prosecutions are punishable by life imprisonment. Those indicted on Sunday represent a very broad spectrum of local opposition, with veteran former MPs like James To and Claudia Mo, academics, lawyers, social workers and many younger activists.