Mr. Huang has been in prison and was sentenced to 13.5 months in prison for the demonstrations in the pro-democracy protest movement in 2019. On Thursday, an article published on Huang’s verified Facebook page stated that he had been transferred from prison to a detention facility, where the police interrogated him.
The post stated that Huang’s lawyer could not contact him when the police issued a statement.
Police confirmed on Thursday that Huang was arrested by CNN and the second activist Tan Dezhi, 47, was arrested. Police said the two were arrested for “subverting state power.”
Huang’s arrest is the latest in Beijing’s new national security law. Beijing’s new national security law found on Wednesday that police arrested 53 people when they attacked democracy activists across the city at dawn.
The law criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, and imposes a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. As Beijing continues to strengthen its control over semi-autonomous cities, these vague parameters provide the authorities with full power to suppress government opponents.
Hong Kong officials have previously promised that the effectiveness of the law will be limited and will only target a few marginal activists. However, critics claim that since the law was implemented, the law has been used to forcefully eliminate the city’s former vibrant democracy movement.
Primary elections are a normal function of democratic countries in the world. When voting in Hong Kong, the U.S. Democratic Party’s primary election was won by President-elect Biden and is still in progress.
In the past, Hong Kong pro-democracy activists have held such votes to match the organization and discipline of the rival pro-Beijing camp and avoid divided support.
Shanghai Security Bureau chief John Lee said on Wednesday that the organizers of the primary elections are seeking to “paralyze the Hong Kong government” by winning a majority of seats in the legislature.
The police told CNN that 52 of the 53 suspects arrested on Wednesday have now been released on bail, but must surrender their travel documents and report to the police again in early February.
The remaining militant, Wu Zhiwei, a former pro-democracy legislator, was indicted by the court on Thursday.
Among those released on bail, District Councillor Lester Shum called the mass arrests “ridiculous.”
He said: “I think this is ridiculous, because this is not what I said after I participated in the Legislative Council elections. This is just accusing me of subversion because we all participated in the democratic primary elections.”
Among those arrested was John Clancey, an American lawyer, who was released on bail without bail. Clancey is a partner of a Hong Kong law firm. He was also the treasurer of the Democratic Forces, which is a pro-democracy organization in Hong Kong, and jointly organized the election primaries.
He told CNN on Thursday that his US passport had been confiscated by the police. According to its partners, his company HO TSE WAI & Partners was also raided by the police on Thursday. Clancey is the first foreign citizen arrested under the National Security Law without a Hong Kong passport.
Some countries strongly condemned the mass arrests. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will consider sanctions on arrests, especially the arrest of Klinki. He said in a statement: “As part of this political repression, I was also shocked by the news that an American citizen was arrested.” “The United States supports the people of Hong Kong and all those who desire freedom.”
The governments of other countries including the United Kingdom, the European Union and Taiwan have also expressed criticism and concern about the arrest.
European Commission spokesperson Peter Stano said: “The National Security Act is used to suppress dissidents and stifle the exercise of human rights and political freedoms protected by Hong Kong’s Basic Law, international law and China’s international obligations and commitments.” The European Union on Wednesday It also called for the “immediate release” of the arrested.