China arrests additional 53 pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong

by Joel Abbott · Jan 6th, 2021 12:21 pm

Last Updated Jan 10th, 2021 at 11:27 pm

China mobilized more than 1,000 Hong Kong police to arrested a further 53 pro-democracy leaders on Wednesday, continuing its crackdown on dissidents who oppose a communist takeover of the autonomous city.

Police began arresting the pro-democracy leaders before dawn and raided a law firm and at least three media offices as part of the operation.

Professor Victoria Hui of the University of Notre Dame called the move a "total sweep" of opposition leaders.

"[The security law] is aimed at the total subjugation of Hong Kong people," she said. "There should be no expectation of elections in any sense that we know it if and when elections are held in the future."

Hong Kong has been roiled by protests since last year over the Chinese Communist Party's takeover of Hong Kong institutions, as well as a bill that allowed China to extradite citizens for trials on the mainland.

Despite pro-democracy supporters winning 90% of the vote in the 2019 elections, the government continued crackdowns and created a law that banned "inciting separatism." Hundreds of pro-democracy activists and leaders have been arrested since the law was enacted.

Among those detained on Wednesday were 13 former Legislative Council members, a former law professor, and district councilors. John Clancey, an American lawyer and chairman of the Asian Human Rights Commission, was also arrested.


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