Four student leaders from a major Hong Kong university were arrested on Wednesday August 18 for “Apology for terrorism”, police said. A controversial statement released in July by a student union after a police officer was stabbed by a man acting alone is behind the arrests, said Steve Li, of the new police enforcement unit. of the law on national security.
“Four men aged 18-20 were arrested today, they are members of the student union and the student union council”, he told reporters. 1er July, a fifty-something attacked a policeman with a knife, before turning the gun on him and committing suicide. The authorities considered that this act fell within the “Domestic terrorism”. Shortly thereafter, the Hong Kong University Student Union (HKU) issued a statement in which it expressed its “Deep sadness” after the death of the abuser and his gratitude for his “Sacrifice”.
More than 30 unions and parties dissolved in 2020
This press release sparked a great deal of controversy. The union has since retracted and apologized for the terms used. “He sublimated, rationalized and glorified terrorism and an attack, as well as encouraged suicidal acts”Mr. Li said. In July, the police raided the union offices, the university TV station, and a student office. The HKU leadership also banned access to the campus for all union board members.
Apologia for terrorism is punishable by ten years in prison and falls under the Hong Kong National Security Law, imposed last year by Beijing in response to the huge pro-democracy movement of 2019. This draconian law aims to sanction subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. Terrorism charges have so far been rarer. Last year, more than thirty unions and political parties have been dissolved following inquiries by the authorities.
On Wednesday, the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund became the latest among organizations supporting pro-democracy protesters to announce its disbandment. Pro-Beijing media called him “Fundraising platform for thugs” and called for his demise.