At least 53 pro-democracy figures and activists have been arrested under the national security law (NSL) and were accused of âsubverting state powerâ by holding primaries for pro-democracy candidates for the Hong Kong election.
Over 1,000 police officers took part in the raids, while at least 72 premises were searched including law and media offices.
Li Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the National Security Division of Hong Kongâs police force said that 45 men and eight women were arrested.
Former pro-democracy lawmaker Alvin Yeung Ngok-Kiu was among those arrested including district councilors and former legislators such as James To, Lam Cheuk-ting, Benny Tai, and Lester Shum.
The arrests were allegedly made in response to the independently-organized and non-binding vote last July 2020 to select opposition candidates for the long-postponed legislative election.
Police explained that campaigning to win a majority in Hong Kongâs 70-seat legislature to block government proposals counted as a subversive action.
âThe operation today targets the active elements who are suspected to be involved in the crime of overthrowing, or interfering seriously to destroy the Hong Kong governmentâs legal execution of duties,â said Secretary for Security John Lee.
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