Hong Kong officials carried out a sweeping operation this weekend arresting a number of high profile individuals who were at the centre of the pro-demoncracy demonstrations which took the city by storm this last year.
Among those attested were business tycoon and founder of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily, Jimmy Lai. Also former lawmakers Martin Lee, Margaret Ng, Albert Ho, Leung Kwok-hung, Au Nok-hin and current lawmaker Leung Yiu-chung.
“Finally I’ve become a defendant. How do I feel? I’m very much relieved,” Lee, known as the father of democracy in Hong Kong, told media after he was bailed.
“For so many years, so many months, so many good youngsters were arrested and charged, while I was not arrested. I feel sorry about it,” the 81-year-old barrister and founding chairman of the city’s first political party said.
The rallies and demonstrations have died down party due to exhaustion, and arrests; but more recently due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Beijing have refused to accede to the protesters’ demands. These include free elections, as well as a full investigation into police conduct during the protests and an amnesty for the 70,000 people who were arrested in connection with the demonstrations, many of them under 20.
Read More: France 24