HONG KONG – Jailed Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong was arrested on a new charge under the national security law on Thursday while an American rights lawyer who was detained in a sweeping crackdown was granted bail.
Friends and family of Wong, who is serving a 13 1/2-month prison sentence for organizing and participating in an unauthorized protest in 2019, were informed that he had been arrested on suspicion of violating the national security law and was taken away to give a statement on the new charge, according to a post on his Facebook page.
The post also stated that Wong's lawyer was unable to meet with him, and that Wong had been transferred back to prison after giving the statement, which was not disclosed.
Separately, John Clancey, an American human rights lawyer who works at law firm Ho Tse Wai & Partners, was granted bail, his associate said. He was one of 53 activists arrested Wednesday under the national security law. He couldn't be reached for comment.
At least some of the others were released on bail late Thursday from various police stations where they had been held. One, veteran activist and former lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung, unfurled a banner that blasted the national security law as he left.
Benny Tai, a longtime activist, said upon his release that “Hong Kong is getting into a cold winter, with a wind blowing that’s very cold and very strong. But I believe that many Hong Kong people will find a way to walk against the wind.”
The activists are accused of taking part in an unofficial primary election last year that authorities say was part of a plan to paralyze the government and subvert state power.
The mass arrests were the largest move against Hong Kong’s democracy movement since Beijing imposed the law last June to quell dissent in the semi-autonomous territory following months of anti-government protests in 2019.