Hong Kong: Hong Kong Police have arrested over 10,200 people in connection with the anti-government protests in the last 20 months, signalling the extent of the crackdown launched by Beijing-backed authorities to silence dissenters. Over 600 people have already convicted, according to South China Morning Post.
During that period, 26 serving civil servants were arrested or charged over their suspected involvement in the social unrest. The figures were disclosed in papers released to lawmakers on Thursday by the Department of Justice, the Civil Service Bureau, and the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau.
Of the 10,242 arrested, 2,521 had undergone or were undergoing judicial proceedings, including 720 charged with rioting.
The rest have been charged with offences such as unlawful assembly, arson, desecrating the national flag, possession of an offensive weapon, assaulting a police officer, and stopping a vehicle on an expressway.
“Of the 2,521 arrestees having undergone or undergoing judicial proceedings, 883 have to bear legal consequences – including 614 convicted, 261 bound over, four subject to a care or protection order and four punished in civil proceedings for contempt of court,” the justice department said.
“The charges against another 50 have been withdrawn and another 186 have been acquitted after trial, while the rest are undergoing judicial proceedings.” According to the Civil Service Bureau, of the city’s more than 170,000 civil servants, 26 were being investigated or had been charged, while there were “eight probationers whose service had been terminated under the Civil Service Regulations”.
The protests erupted in June 2019 over the now-withdrawn extradition bill. The bill was deemed as an example of increasing Chinese influence in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was rocked by months of protests, which were sparked by the now-withdrawn extradition bill in June 2019.
The opposition to the bill morphed into wider and often violent civil unrest. It eventually led to Beijing imposing a national security law on the city last June. The law has been condemned by countries around the world and rights activists.