Hong Kong arrests six people under new national security law for making ‘seditious’ social media posts

Hong Kong arrests six people under new national security law for making ‘seditious’ social media posts

Hong Kong has arrested six people under the new national security law for putting up social media posts that “incited hatred” against China.

They were arrested on Tuesday after being accused of using a Facebook page to incite hatred against Chinese and Hong Kong governments as well as the judiciary.

Five of the six accused are women and include Chow Hang-tung, a prominent barrister and activist already in jail on other charges.

It was alleged that Ms Chow directed her fellow accused to post seditious content ahead of a “sensitive date” , 4 June, which is the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

The offence carries a maximum jail term of seven years.

The other five accused, aged between 37 and 65, were not named.

Ms Chow was a leader of the now-disbanded Alliance, which organised annual vigils for 4 June.

The authorities warned that anonymity online would not protect those endangering national security.

“Chow Hang Tung’s 1,000th day in detention on national security charges is next week — on 4 June, no less — and the authorities seem intent on ensuring that her fight for freedom is even longer by adding new so-called crimes to her file,” Amnesty’s China director Sarah Brooks was quoted as saying by the BBC.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s high court is set to deliver a verdict this week against 16 pro-democracy activists in a landmark trial under the national security law.

The trial is the biggest ever against Hong Kong’s democratic opposition and is being closely watched internationally, with diplomats from the US, Britain and Europe having attended court proceedings.

So far, 31 of the 47 democrats have admitted guilt while 16 continue to maintain their innocence. Four defendants have switched sides to become witnesses for the prosecution.