Security law: 19 year-old 'independence activist' Tony Chung arrested

The activist is one of the founders of the "Studentlocalism" group, dissolved before the implementation of the security law. Police suspect Chung wanted to take refuge in the US consulate and flee abroad.


Hong Kong (AsiaNews / Agencies) - 19 year-old Tony Chung Hon-lam, former leader of a student independence group, was arrested this morning around 8 by a group of national security policemen. Chung was in a cafe near the US consulate in Central. Police suspect that he wanted to seek asylum.

The new security law punishes acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collaboration with foreign forces. Chung's group, “Studentlocalism”, had ceased operations in June, in order not to face penalties and arrests due to the law. Groups of Hong Kong students had promised to continue their struggle from abroad.

Chung had already been arrested in July, along with two other comrades aged 16 and 21 for forming an organization that wanted to use "every means" to found a "Republic of Hong Kong".

He was then released on bail, banned from leaving the territory and ordered to report to the police once a month.

According to some observers, Chung's arrest is related to the expulsion from Taiwan of Lee Pun-ho, of Hong Kong, who last January photographed Chung and some of his friends during their visit to the island. Lee reportedly later sold the photos to pro-Beijing newspapers such as Ta Kung Pao, adding to a conspiracy reading of Chung's visit.

Taiwanese authorities expelled Lee and banned him from the island for an unspecified period of time.