Hong Kong activist’s bail revoked over comments ‘endangering national security’

Owen Chow Ka-shing, one of 47 pro-democracy activists charged with conspiracy to commit acts of subversion under the National Security Law, arrives at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts building, Hong Kong, China , November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Lam Yik

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HONG KONG, Jan 13 (Reuters) – A Hong Kong pro-democracy activist, among a group of 47 activists charged with conspiracy to commit acts of subversion, had his bail revoked on Thursday after being rearrested for he was suspected of having made statements endangering national security. .

The 47, accused of plotting to overthrow the government by organizing a primary election for the opposition camp in 2020 to select candidates for the legislative elections, were arrested in March last year in a very mediated by the security police.

Most were jailed pending the resumption of their cases in March this year, but 15 were released on bail, including 24-year-old Owen Chow, who was freed in June. His bail conditions included not breaking the security law, reporting to police every day and handing over all travel documents. Read more

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He was arrested during his regular visit to a police station on Wednesday evening and arraigned in West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts on Thursday, where Magistrate Peter Law revoked bail.

“The national security division of the police force arrested the man (…) on suspicion of violating the bail conditions of the court,” police said on Thursday in an emailed statement. .

“He was suspected of having said words and actions that could reasonably be considered to endanger national security during the period of release on bail,” he said, without specifying the words.

Chow represented himself in court. Hong Kong laws prohibit publication of the contents of bail hearings. He could not be reached before his court appearance.

The main ballot in which Chow participated was unofficial, non-binding and held independently. Authorities said it was a “vicious plot” that threatened national security and violated the national security law imposed by Beijing in June 2020.

Voting for Legislative Council seats, originally scheduled for 2020, has been postponed, with authorities citing the coronavirus. It was finally held in December 2021 under new rules imposed by Beijing so that only loyal “patriots” could show up.

Diplomats and rights groups are closely monitoring the court case amid growing concerns over judicial independence, seen as one of the pillars of Hong Kong’s financial success. Authorities have repeatedly stated that the judiciary is independent and respects the rule of law.

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Writing by Marius Zaharia; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Peter Graff

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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