Student Politicism trio held for 'inciting hatred, subversive acts'

Top News | Carine Chow 21 Sep 2021

Three activists from Student Politicism have been arrested by national security police for allegedly conspiring to incite subversion of state power.

The three, aged 18 to 20, are group convener Wong Yat-chin, secretary general Chan Chi-sum and former spokeswoman Chu Wai-ying, who is a student at Baptist University.

Steve Li Kwai-wah, a senior superintendent of police in the national security department, said they arrested two men and a woman yesterday morning.

They were accused of distributing materials to incite hatred against the government, organizing activities to gather people with similar goals, and providing materials for remanded inmates to help them recruit followers in jails.

"Helping prisoners is not a problem," Li said, but it would be if there was an intention to recruit followers from among prisoners.

Li said the group had two channels to push messages - social media and the group's community space in Mong Kok.

He said: "The information they disseminate is to incite hatred - hatred toward the government, to advise others not to obey the laws of Hong Kong, and to ask somebody else to overturn the government of Hong Kong and the government of China."

The group also urged followers to practice martial arts to prepare for a revolution that would target the communist regime, he added.

Li alleged too that the group carried out subversive acts after the introduction of the national security law on June 30 last year, including encouraging people not to use the government's LeaveHomeSafe app.

The group had set up around 41 street booths since its establishment in May 2020.

Officers will look into the sources of funding, Li said, and more arrests could follow.

The group went on Instagram to say Wong and Chan were arrested at 6.40am yesterday.

"Wong and Chan are now being detained at police stations in Mong Kok and Tseung Kwan O respectively," it said, adding lawyers were following up on their cases.

According to the Instagram post, police searched a storage unit at Wah Sing Industrial Building in Kwai Chung where Wong was arrested.

Around 40 boxes of goods were seized by police, including M&M's candies, baby powder, dried shredded squid and hand cream - items visitors are allowed to take to people in prison. At 10.40am, police took Wong to the group's community space at Ho King Commercial Building in Mong Kok.

It opened on September 7 as a place for people to gather, according to the group's Facebook page. It also helps pass donated books to protesters on remand.

Chu was taken by police from her home.

According to Baptist University's student union, officers were waiting at Chu's home when she went there two hours after receiving a call from the security department in the morning.

Members of the student group have been arrested several times since its establishment.

On July 1, police arrested four members including Wong and Chan for allegedly distributing seditious publications after they set up a street booth in Mong Kok.

Wong was also arrested on June 11, along with the group's spokeswoman, Wong Yuen-lam, for inciting others to join an unlawful assembly.

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