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