The arrests of pro-democracy activists are the most recent since China imposed the National Security Law earlier this year.
Hong Kong police arrested eight other activists on Tuesday as Chinese territory intensified crackdown on besieged opposition forces in the territory.
Police did not identify the people, saying only that they were between 24 and 64 years old. Local media said former pro-democracy lawmakers and veteran activist Leung Kwok-hung, known as Long Hair, were among them, while a Twitter post from Former Lawmaker Eddie Chu’s Tale took stated that he had also been arrested.
“Chu Hoi Dick was arrested and searched by police at 6:40 am this morning,” the post read. “He has been charged with two crimes related to July 1: holding or organizing an unauthorized assembly and knowingly participating in an unauthorized assembly.”
The arrests come a day after eight people between the ages of 16 and 34 were arrested for a protest on a college campus last month. Three of them were arrested on suspicion of violating the National Security Law, violating legislation imposed by Beijing on June 30.
“It appears to be part of a relentless crackdown on opposition voices here in Hong Kong,” Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan said, noting that the July 1 protest has taken place in the territory every year since the handover. power in 1997.
China has argued that security legislation, which punishes what Beijing broadly defines as secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces up to life in prison, was crucial to restore stability after the mass protests of the last year which have evolved into greater democracy.
Opposition politicians and Western governments fear the law will be used to quell dissent and erode the vast freedoms guaranteed in Hong Kong when Chinese rule returned in 1997 after more than a century as a British colony .
Last week, three pro-democracy activists, including Joshua Wong, were jailed for participating in a protest last year, while media mogul Jimmy Lai was refusal of deposit on a charge for using his office for purposes other than those indicated on the lease. The 71-year-old has previously been arrested under the National Security Act and charged with “collusion with foreign forces ”.
On Monday, the United States announced additional sanctions against Chinese officials on the law. He has already imposed sanctions on officials, including CEO Carrie Lam, who complained about making it difficult for him to use his credit card.