A 26-year-old volunteer of the Occupy Central movement was arrested yesterday for her alleged involvement in the blocking of roads in Central nearly two years ago.
People Power legislator Albert Chan Wai-yip said the arrest of Melody Chan Yuk-fung is a clear case of political persecution as it came 22 months after the alleged incident.
Melody Chan is a solicitor trainee who is now helping University of Hong Kong associate law professor Benny Tai Yiu- ting launch the movement to fight for universal suffrage in the 2017 chief executive election. She has been charged with organizing and joining an unauthorized assembly on July 1, 2011. She will appear in Eastern Court tomorrow.
It was alleged that Chan, along with hundreds of activists, occupied the junction of Queen's Road, Garden Road and Connaught Road, causing severe traffic disruption.
Speaking at a press conference after Chan's arrest, Tai said he was deeply "angered" by the police action. He said the SAR government is trying to create a tense environment to prevent people from joining the movement.
Legislator Chan said it is clear the latest arrest "has been made with a political purpose."
Chan, who was last week convicted in Eastern Court of organizing the illegal rally, said police probably made the latest arrest as a result of that verdict.
However, police maintained that their actions are based on laws and without any political consideration.
On April 29, Eastern Court magistrate Joseph To Ho-shing ruled that People Power lawmaker Raymond Wong Yuk-man and Albert Chan were guilty of unlawful assembly - organizing supporters to break through a police cordon and disturbing the peace after leading activists on a march from Wan Chai to Central on July 1, 2011.
The court acquitted the party's lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and Wong's assistant Chau Tsun-kiu on the unlawful assembly charge. To accused Wong of being "untrustworthy"and said it was clear that Wong and Chan had organized supporters to confront the police.
In early February, April Fifth Movement activist Koo Sze- yiu was jailed for nine months for burning and defacing the SAR flag during protests last June and on New Year's Day this year. However, Koo will be freed from prison this week after a High Court judge halved his sentence on Monday.
High Court judge Judianna Barnes Wai-ling said she agreed with the lower court that the burning of the flag is a public danger, but disagreed with the length of the prison term.