Hong Kong’s national security police used a colonial-era sedition law to arrest six people yesterday on suspicion of causing a nuisance at court hearings in December and January.
The suspects — four men and two women aged between 32 and 67 years old — were arrested on suspicion of committing an “act or acts with seditious intent,” an offense under the Crimes Ordinance.
The acts “severely affected jurisdictional dignity and court operations,” a government statement said.
Police did not say what the suspects had allegedly done. They also did not name the suspects, following customary practice.
The colonial-era law had remained dormant until recent years, when it has been used to arrest and prosecute a string of pro-democracy supporters and activists. In March, a radio DJ and outspoken pro-democracy activist became the first person in the city convicted of sedition since the 1997 handover.
The arrests yesterday were the latest in a sweeping crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong after months of anti-government protests in 2019. Most of the city’s most outspoken pro-democracy activists have been prosecuted, and many are behind bars while others have fled the city.
If charged and convicted of sedition, the six people arrested yesterday could face up to two years in prison. The suspects were being held for questioning. MDT/AP