US condemns arrest of Tony Chung and other activists

Local | 29 Oct 2020 11:50 pm

The US State Department on Thursday condemned the arrest and detention of the former leader of pro-independence group Studentlocalism, Tony Chung, calling it "reprehensible" for national security officers to detain a teenager in a coffee shop, RTHK reports.

Chung, 19, was arrested in Central on Tuesday, not far from the US Consulate. He was denied bail after appearing at the West Kowloon Court on Thursday on charges of secession, money laundering and conspiring to publish seditious material.

In a statement, the US State Department also criticized the arrest of two other former members of Studentlocalism by the police on Tuesday. They have since been freed on bail.

"The National Security Law continues to be used to stifle dissent and curtail individual freedoms of the people of Hong Kong – not to ensure security," a State Department spokesperson said.

Washington also said it deplores the Hong Kong authorities' use of law enforcement for political purposes, saying it is contrary to the preservation of the rule of law and respect for the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

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