Hong Kong student arrested over national security law protest

HONG KONG — A Hong Kong student has been arrested for allegedly inciting others to join a banned protest during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the city last week, police said on Monday..

The 19-year-old man, a student at Hong Kong University, was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of inciting others to participate in an illegal assembly under the city’s sweeping national security law, a police spokesperson told reporters..

The arrest comes after thousands of police officers were deployed across the city last Thursday as Xi visited Hong Kong to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the city’s handover from British to Chinese rule..

During Xi’s visit, authorities banned a protest organized by the Civil Human Rights Front, a local pro-democracy group, citing security concerns..

Despite the ban, several small groups of protesters gathered in different parts of the city, chanting slogans and waving banners calling for democracy and freedom..

Police arrested at least 10 people during the protests, including the 19-year-old student..

The student is the first person to be arrested under the national security law for allegedly inciting others to join a banned protest..

The law, which was imposed by Beijing in June 2020, has been widely criticized by human rights groups and Western governments as a tool to suppress dissent in the city..

The law criminalizes a wide range of activities, including secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces..

Since the law was imposed, dozens of opposition figures, activists, and journalists have been arrested and charged under the law..

The arrest of the student has sparked fears that the authorities may be using the national security law to crack down on even minor forms of dissent..


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