On this file picture taken on October 29, 2019, pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong stands earlier than the media after talking at a press convention in Hong Kong. Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong was arrested on September 24, 2020 for “illegal meeting” associated to a 2019 protest towards a authorities ban on face masks, his lawyer stated. Photograph: Anthony WALLACE / AFP
Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested Thursday for “unlawful meeting” and flouting a controversial 2019 anti-mask legislation that banned the sporting of face masks and covers throughout giant public gatherings.
The arrest was introduced on Wong’s official Twitter account, which has greater than 687,000 followers.
“Joshua was arrested when reporting to the Central Police Station at 1pm in the present day,” it learn, including that prices had been associated to a rally final yr on October 5, 2019 – on the top of pro-democracy protests aimed toward pushing again towards China’s increasing management over Hong Kong.
The anti-mask legislation was put in place earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic and has been not often enforced since.
Wong, who isn’t any stranger to arrests, beforehand instructed VICE Information about his fears of being detained underneath a brand new Beijing-backed Nationwide Safety carried out in July.
The act bans all types of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international international locations. It carries a harsh most penalty of life imprisonment.
The legislation has already been used to justify arrests of dozens of pro-democracy activists, together with outspoken Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai, and has been labeled by analysts and observers as a method for the mainland Chinese language authorities to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong.
Wong additionally beforehand spoke out on Twitter towards the detention of 12 Hong Kong activists who had been fleeing by boat to close by Taiwan to hunt political asylum.
He raised his issues about their welfare and stated he feared they’d be despatched to China’s secretive courtroom and jail system and denied entry to authorized help.
Get a customized roundup of VICE’s greatest tales in your inbox.
By signing as much as the VICE e-newsletter you comply with obtain digital communications from VICE that will typically embody ads or sponsored content material.