09/28/2020, 09.43
HONG KONG - CHINA
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Hong Kong: Another lawyer 'drops' defence of 12 activists arrested in Guangdong

He is the sixth to decline the post, after pressure from the Chinese Communist Party authorities. Arrested for violating the territorial waters of the motherland. The Hong Kong executive refuses to intervene, as requested by the families. Permission for demonstration in support of detainees denied.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Under pressure from the Chinese authorities, another lawyer has dropped the defence of the 12 Hong Kong democracy activists, arrested on 23 August off the coast of Guangdong.

The family of Kwok Tsz-lun, a 19-year-old student, detained with others in the Shenzhen prison reported the latest renunciation today.

He is the second lawyer appointed by the detainee's family members to drop the case: according to RTHK, he withdrew after an explicit request from the Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Chinese Communist Party. Overall, six Chinese lawyers have dropped the case.

At the time of the arrest, the detained - 11 men and one woman - were on a speedboat, most likely headed to Taiwan to seek refuge. The charges, which after more than a month are not yet formalized, is of having violated the territorial waters of the motherland. For the Beijing Foreign Ministry, the group should be charged with "separatism".

Andy Li is among those arrested. The democracy activist was arrested on August 10 along with the publishing magnate Jimmy Lai under the new security law wanted by the Chinese regime. The others, including a 16-year-old minor, are on trial for taking part in anti-government demonstrations that broke out more than a year ago in Hong Kong.

The families of the detainees have repeatedly requested the intervention of the government and police of the former British colony, but have received only a blunt refusal. The city government said those arrested were able to choose a lawyer from a list approved by the Chinese authorities. The local executive also rejected the request of the Civil Human Rights Front to hold a demonstration on October 1st in support of activists imprisoned in China: the Hong Kong police justified the refusal with the danger of unrest and the risk of coronavirus contagion.

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