China Arrests Activist For Supporting Hong Kong Democracy Movement

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Originally published by Radio Free Asia on NOVEMBER  20, 2014

Police in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou have formally arrested a third activist on subversion charges after he publicly supported the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement.

Wang Mo has been formally arrested on suspicion of “incitement to subvert state power” after he took part in an activity in support of Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement, which has taken over sections of highway in the former British colony in a campaign for free elections in 2017.

His family received notification from police on Monday, a fellow activist who gave only a nickname Xiao Biao told RFA on Thursday.

Wang is currently being held in the Guangzhou No. 1 Detention Center.

Guangdong authorities are also holding Foshan-based activist Su Changlan on suspicion of “incitement to subvert state power” after she took part in Hong Kong-related activities in the province.

Su was criminally detained on Oct. 27 and is currently being held at Guicheng Police Station in Foshan city.

Also in Foshan, activist Jia Pin has been placed under tight surveillance by police the city’s Nanhai district after being held under criminal detention for more than a month, according to fellow activist Yang Chong.

And in the eastern province of Shandong, Occupy Central supporter Sun Feng is also being held under criminal detention.

Sun was criminally detained on Nov. 17, and is being held in an unknown location in Shandong’s Zibo city, the overseas-based Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) group reported on Thursday.

“These are definitely linked to Hong Kong,” Xiao Biao said.

Documented cases

The CHRD says it has documented 104 cases of detention by Occupy Central supporters across the internal border in mainland China.

Of those, at least 31 individuals remain in some form of police custody.

“Police have harassed and intimidated countless others by visiting their homes and issuing warnings, or putting them under house arrest,” the group said in a statement on its website.

It said several activists have gone into hiding, the statement said.

‘Fake’ reform package

Hong Kong’s Occupy Central protests, also known as the Umbrella Movement after protesters used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear-gas during Sept. 28 clashes, have taken over stretches of major highways in protest at China’s plans for electoral reform in the territory.

China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress (NPC), ruled on Aug. 31 that while all five million of Hong Kong’s voters can cast ballots in elections scheduled for 2017 for Hong Kong’s chief executive, they will only be able to choose between two or three candidates preselected by Beijing.

Occupy protesters and pan-democratic politicians, who won 54 percent of the popular vote in the last legislative elections, have dismissed the proposed reform package as “fake universal suffrage.”

China’s ruling Communist Party is extremely nervous that citizens in mainland China could gain inspiration from the movement to launch a popular movement of their own.

In response, it has assiduously censored reports, tweets and photos of the protests on its side of the Great Firewall.

“They want to send a warning to Occupy Central, for fear that the movement breaks across the border into mainland China and creates an impact here,” Xiao Biao said.

“That’s why there have been so many of these arrests; maybe the ones who are formally arrested are the ones who have the strongest attitude,” he added.

Reported by Wen Yuqing for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Qiao Long for the Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie.

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