Hong Kong police 'order protest leaders to surrender'

Hong Kong police
# 06 January 2015 00:10 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Newspaper says police will arrest more than 30 leaders of pro-democracy protest.

Dozens of key figures in last year's pro-democracy protests face prosecution after police ordered them to hand themselves in Monday, local media reported, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

A police source told the South China Morning Post that more than 30 organizers would be arrested on suspicion of instigating, organizing or aiding and abetting an unlawful assembly.

The protests between late September and mid-December brought disruption to Hong Kong as tens of thousands protested against Beijing’s involvement in selecting the territory's next leader in 2017.

Among those who police have begun to contact are media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, Civic Party leader and lawmaker Alan Leong Kah-kit and Lee Cheuk-yan, Labour Party chairman and lawmaker.

The three co-founders of Occupy Central – Reverend Chu Yiu-ming and academics Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Chan Kin-man – as well as Democratic Party lawmaker Albert Ho Chun-yan are on the list.

Student leaders from the Federation of Students and Scholarism have also been identified for prosecution.

The newspaper said crime squad officers began to contact the campaigners Monday.

“They are asked to go to police headquarters to assist with a probe in connection with an unlawful assembly case,” the source told the Post, which said it understood the activists would be arrested on arrival at police headquarters.

“We target the key players first and then we will contact others in the next phase of the operation,” the source added.

Following the clearance of the final protest site on Dec. 15, Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said the force would arrest the “principal instigators” and complete its investigation within three months.

The demonstrations, which involved more than 100,000 people at their peak, were seen as one of the most serious challenges to China's authority since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

The former British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under the "one country, two systems" formula that promised a high degree of autonomy, including universal suffrage.