HK to charge ac­tivists over protests, a day af­ter new chief picked

New Straits Times - - World -

HONG KONG: Po­lice cracked down on democ­racy ac­tivists yes­ter­day, say­ing they will be charged over the Um­brella Move­ment mass protests, a day af­ter a pro-Beijing can­di­date was cho­sen as the city’s new leader.

Carrie Lam was se­lected as the new chief ex­ec­u­tive on Sun­day by a com­mit­tee dom­i­nated by proChina vot­ers, but promised to try to unify the deeply di­vided city.

The vote was dis­missed as a sham by democ­racy cam­paign­ers, who fear Beijing is tight­en­ing its grip on semi-au­tonomous Hong Kong and say Lam will be no dif­fer­ent from its un­pop­u­lar cur­rent leader, Le­ung Chun-ying.

Those con­cerns were height­ened yes­ter­day when po­lice in­formed lead­ing cam­paign­ers that they would be charged in con­nec­tion with the ral­lies.

Ac­tivist Raphael Wong of the League of So­cial Democrats said he would be charged with pub­lic nui­sance and blamed Le­ung af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call from po­lice yes­ter­day.

“As Lam talks about unity, they are say­ing you don’t need it.”

Lo­cal me­dia said po­lice in­formed nine ac­tivists that they would face charges.

Lam did not di­rectly re­spond over whether the move would fur­ther di­vide Hong Kong.

She re­peated that she wanted unity, but said her ap­proach “should not com­pro­mise the rule of law in Hong Kong”. AFP

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