Chinese authorities detained at least 10 people, including a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, after the Chinese coast guard intercepted a motorboat that allegedly was going to Taiwan. According to information provided by the local press, which cites unidentified sources, activist Andy Li is among those arrested.
Li was arrested earlier this month with nine others, accused of collusion with foreign forces, under a controversial national security law imposed by Beijing in Hong Kong. The activist was released on bail.
A message broadcast on social media by the Chinese coast guard detailed that the arrests took place on Sunday, when the boat was intercepted off the coast of southern Guangdong province.
Two people identified by the surnames Li and Tang are among those arrested, according to the coast guard. It is not clear what charges they face.
“We are aware of this information. For the time being, we have no information from the relevant authorities on the continent, ”Hong Kong Police Commissioner Chris Tang said today at a press conference.
People on board were said to be fleeing to Taiwan, and at least one other person has already been arrested on charges related to last year’s anti-government protests, the Hong Kong South China Morning Post reported.
In July, Taiwan opened an office to help Hong Kong residents wanting to emigrate to the island and received more than 1,000 orders in the first month.
The national security law, which came into effect on June 30, criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
The maximum penalty is life imprisonment.
Beijing implemented the law after months of anti-government protests that shook the semi-autonomous city last year.
Critics consider the legislation to be a blow to the “one country, two systems” formula, which gives Hong Kong freedoms nonexistent in mainland China.
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