Hong Kong police arrest second suspect on suspicion of desecrating 31 Chinese flags around National Day

·2-min read

Hong Kong police have made a second arrest in connection with an incident in which more than 30 Chinese flags were burned or slashed in Wong Tai Sin district around National Day, detaining a 33-year-old man.

The force said crime squad officers picked up the man in Mong Kok on Friday morning.

He was arrested over flag desecration, criminal damage and arson and was being held for questioning. No charges have been laid.

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At about 6am on October 1, 20 flags were seen scattered on the ground after being hung along Fu Mei Street by an organisation celebrating the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Officers found most of the flags had been burned or ripped, and believed they were thrown on the ground intentionally.

Hong Kong man arrested on suspicion of desecrating Chinese flag

At about 2am the following day, 11 flags the organisation had hung from pavement railings on Yuk Wah Street were also found to have been hurled to the ground, with most of them charred or slashed as well.

Officers arrested a 49-year-old unemployed man two weeks later for desecrating the national flag, criminal damage and arson. At the time, investigators were also searching for another man in his 30s who they believed to be an accomplice.

Desecrating the national flag is punishable by up to three years in jail and a HK$50,000 fine.

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Last month, a solar panel technician was jailed for four years and seven months for burning water-filled barricades and desecrating the national flag during the 2019 anti-government protests.

The judge found Wong Cheuk-lai, 24, had displayed “terrible conduct” and played a key role in the spontaneous destruction of the Chinese flag at Tung Chung Swimming Pool on September 1 that year. Wong tore down the flag – and spray-painted a security camera to cover up the act – seriously undermining national dignity, the judge said.

The flag was later passed to other protesters who stuffed it into a rubbish bin before taking it out to wipe the container and two ashtrays. It was then dumped on the ground and set on fire.

This article Hong Kong police arrest second suspect on suspicion of desecrating 31 Chinese flags around National Day first appeared on South China Morning Post

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