Hong Kong Democracy Protest Leaders Arrested

A demonstrator holds a flag a during a protest in Hong Kong, China, August 24, 2019. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Several leaders of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were arrested early Friday by Hong Kong police on suspicion of unlawful assembly.

Activists Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow were taken into custody and charged with crimes related to their June 21 attack on the Wan Chai police headquarters, Wong with organizing the event and Chow with participating.

During the June siege, protesters threw eggs at police headquarters and barricaded entrances, protesting police tactics against demonstrators.

“He has now been escorted to the police headquarters in Wan Chai on the basis of three charges. We will continue to follow the incident,” Demosistō, Wong’s pro-democracy group, wrote on Twitter regarding his arrest.

Wong was previously jailed for his participation in Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement.

Hong Kong has been roiled by protests throughout the summer, originally sparked by outrage over an extradition law that Hong Kong residents say would allow Chinese authorities to effectively “kidnap” them on little evidence. The concern over the law soon ballooned into fear that China plans to throw out its “One Country, Two Systems” policy regarding Hong Kong.

Protesters have called for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and for her to formally withdraw the extradition bill.

Police have arrested several other prominent demonstrators over the last few weeks, while China meanwhile has vowed a “severe” response to the protest activities and has accused demonstrators of terrorism.

Earlier this month, 5,000 protesters swarmed Hong Kong International Airport, causing the major travel hub to shut down and cancel all flights.

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