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Hong Kong makes first national security arrests in 10 months

Bloomberg
Bloomberg • 2 min read
Hong Kong makes first national security arrests in 10 months
The arrests are the first known detentions for a national security offence since May 11. Photo: Bloomberg
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Hong Kong’s national security police detained a prominent pro-democracy activist on Thursday in the first reported arrest under the security law in about 10 months.

Elizabeth Tang was arrested for allegations of colluding with foreign forces, media including the South China Morning Post reported. She was arrested outside Stanley Prison after visiting her husband, jailed activist Lee Cheuk-yan, according to reports. Police said in a statement a 65-year-old woman was arrested for suspected collusion.

Tang was chief executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, the city’s largest pro-democracy labour organization, from 1995 to 2011, according to her LinkedIn profile. Like many other such groups, the HKCTU disbanded in 2021 in the wake of the national security law. Tang is currently the general secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation.

Separately, a 23-year old female was arrested Thursday for secession allegations amid suspicion she published online posts calling for Hong Kong independence, according to the police statement.

The arrests are the first known detentions for a national security offence since May 11, when four prominent democracy activists, including a senior member of the Catholic church, were held. It’s also the first since John Lee became the city’s leader in July.

Both individuals are being detained for further investigation, the statement said.

See also: ICAEW economic report: Singapore’s trade-weighted economy will likely remain subdued

Tang recently returned to Hong Kong after moving to the UK in September 2021, the Standard reported. Her husband, who was chairman of a group that organized the annual Tiananmen Square vigil, has been charged with subversion under the national security law. He is in jail for his role in unauthorised protests during 2019 and 2020. Lee founded the HKCTU in 1990.

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