Hong Kong: Hong Kong police arrest six activists for sedition

Six activists, including journalist Siew Yun-long and former union leader Leo Tang, were arrested on suspicion of sedition by Hong Kong police on April 6. The International Federation of Journalists (IF) strongly condemns the charges and calls on the Hong Kong authorities to immediately release the journalist and other activists.

Leo Tang (R) outside the SOGO Mall in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, 2021. Credit: Twitter

According to Radio Free Asia, Hong Kong’s national security police arrested the six activists over their conduct during court hearings between December 2021 and January 2022. If convicted, the accused face up to two years in jail. 

The six had allegedly “caused nuisance" and were accused of affecting “jurisdictional dignity and court operations", Hong Kong police said in a statement. 

The suspects were arrested for committing “an act or acts with seditious intent”, considered a national security offence under Hong Kong’s Crimes Ordinance. 

In total, four men and two women were arrested, aged between 32 and 67. Among those detained was Siew Yun-long, a journalist and court reporter, and Leo Tang, the former vice president of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU). 

Hong Kong police have recently increased their use of the sedition law, which has been described as a ‘colonial-era’, to shut down and target pro-democracy activism. 

In March 2022, Tam Tak-chi, a radio DJ and pro-democracy activist was the first person in Hong Kong to be trialed under the controversial sedition law since 1997.  

The IFJ said: “The arrest of six activists under a draconian law is another blatant attempt by the Hong Kong government to suppress pro-democracy voices and stifle press freedom. The IFJ calls for their immediate release and urges the government to cease its persecution of journalists and activists.” 

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram