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HomeNewsHong Kong arrests 10 for 'foreign collusion' – DW – 08/10/2023

Hong Kong arrests 10 for ‘foreign collusion’ – DW – 08/10/2023

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Hong Kong police arrested 10 people on Thursday on charges of endangering national security and colluding with foreign forces. 

Authorities said that those arrested — four men and six women, aged 26 to 43 — were suspected of conspiring to collude with the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund.

The now-disbanded fund helped pay legal and medical costs for people arrested during the mass pro-democracy protests that rocked the Chinese city in 2019.

What did Hong Kong police say?

The 10 people were suspected of receiving donations “from various overseas organizations to support people who have fled overseas or organizations which called for sanctions against Hong Kong,” the police said in a statement.

They also cited “inciting riot” as grounds for Thursday’s arrests and did not rule out more charges.

How China’s crackdown has changed Hong Kong

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The 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund was disbanded in October 2021 after national security police demanded it hand over information about its donors and beneficiaries.

Authorities have accused the group of fomenting dissent among jailed protesters and helping Hong Kong activists who have fled overseas.

Five of the fund’s trustees, including the elderly Cardinal Joseph Zen, were arrested in May 2022 for foreign collusion but were convicted and fined for the less serious crime of failing to properly register the fund.

Clampdown on civil liberties in Hong Kong

Hong Kong authorities, critics say, have been cracking down on political freedoms and dissent since China imposed a sweeping national security law on the territory in 2020. 

Over 260 people have been arrested under the law so far, including many of the city’s leading pro-democracy activists.

How to preserve Hong Kong’s cultural memory?

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The law also has been used to ban several pro-democracy political parties and large civic organizations, as well as to censor books and movies considered sensitive.

Western governments have repeatedly criticized the national security law in Hong Kong as a tool of repression.

Chinese and Hong Kong officials, however, say it has brought back stability to the former British colony following the months-long citywide violent unrest in 2019.

sri/sms (AFP, Reuters, AP)

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